ASHTON NEWMAN: Final Update!

August 22nd, 2017 Posted by Immersion Internship - 2017

Hey all!
It’s me again, with my third and final blog. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I feel like I just got back from Malawi and now I am heading home to the states. I am blown away by how fast these past few weeks have come and gone. I feel like it was just yesterday that I stepped foot into this beautiful country and in one week I will be leaving her. So, in a blog driven by mostly tears I will attempt to pack the entirety of this immersion experience into a few short paragraphs. Please, wish me luck for this summer has way too many stories to fit into one page. Similar to the book of John, if I shared about everything the Lord did this summer, there would not be enough blogs in the world to contain its overwhelming goodness.

This summer has been a summer of renewal for me. I ended my first blog with this overwhelming sense of a renewed perspective on my ability to love. I thought this summer would be a transformation of the heart but not a rebuilding of my heart. It’s funny but so often we overlook our brokenness simply because we refuse to see it. However, the Lord works in this beautiful manner in that he takes you 9,000 miles away from home simply to remind his child of how much He loves. You see, the Lord’s love radiates in Africa. It’s crazy, but the African sun even spouts out murmurs of love with every sunrise and sunset. But, the people of Zambia have radically affected my hearts view of love. I said in my past blogs that I was learning to love from the people that genuinely love the best. This ideal cannot be more accurate in relation to the atmosphere I have been surrounded by for the past three months. You see, love is not always the easiest thing to grasp. The world so often clouds the truth of love within false truths thus requiring the heart to decipher real love from fake love. This internship has then taught me what it really means to love.

For, the past three months I have had the opportunity to travel into the local communities surrounding our home base. These two communities are called Mipona and Cabanana. I have spent the majority of my summer serving in Mipona where I have met some of the kindest individuals. The hospitality of my dear friends of Mipona often leaves me in complete awe. I am floored day in and day out by the love that is so freely given. This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a baby shower of my family that I visit quite frequently. The house was jam packed with so many women from the community all singing praises to the Father in celebration of the birth of the child. However, there was no room in the house. It was filled with so many women that many were trickling out of the front entrance. But, as soon as we arrived the women all made space, huddled a little closer and opened spots for us to join in on the celebration. This was just one story of many of the outpouring of love.

This experience has been truly life changing. My eyes have been opened to real brokenness, true hardship, but also pure joy. I came into this summer seeking out pure joy and I found it in full. I am going to leave this place spiritually, emotionally, and physically wrecked for Jesus Christ. The Lord’s goodness leaves me in a continual posture of amazement in that the Father so purposely maps out our adventures with him. I have learned how to live, how to love, and how to serve. I am living changed, renewed, and greatly purposed. The Lord has spoken so much truth over this experience and I am so excited to see where He takes me next. I am so thankful for Zambia. I truly do not want to say goodbye. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.

Ashton Newman • 2017 International Immersion Intern