My entire experience, summed up in three to four paragraphs will only be giving a glimpse into how vastly amazing this adventure has been. I am so thankful for all of the ways that God has grown, challenged, and cared for me. When I decided to leave for this adventure to Africa, I knew that I would have to allow my heart and mind to be in full surrender to God and give Him a chance. As I stepped onto the South African Airways plane for an eighteen-hour flight, I committed to having faith in all God showed me on this trip. Twelve weeks later, as our time comes to a close, I am amazed at the ways that God has revealed himself to me through His faithfulness to my boldness and trust. My hope is to carry this trust as I go back to the States.
Poetice and EMIZ are transforming lives in Livingstone, Zambia. Their focus is not only among the community and in outreaches, but also in each of us that have lived here for the last three months. When I decided to be a part of the internship I had the expectation that I would be constantly doing ministry with vulnerable and abused women. I thought my main focus would be helping restore girls who were a part of Girls Revolution. I loved building relationships with many of these beautiful young women who are striving for purity and want to learn about Jesus. Every Thursday we would sit in a small group of about twelve girls and learn about purity. They shared their stories openly and asked tough questions in order to seek wisdom for their day to day living, but this was not my focus.
When the days began to turn into weeks and I thought we were getting into a rhythm of ministry and discipleship, we were challenged again by change. Different short-term missions would come work alongside of us in ministry and we utilized the extra hands available by creating special events for the children around our community. Towards the end of summer, the interns had an incredible opportunity to lead and facilitate one of these groups. Reach for Life camp was incredible as we had 100 teens from five different schools spend time getting to know the Lord so much more. Some of these teens had heard about purity from Girls Revolution as well as our Beat the Drum program we facilitated in July. Beat the Drum incorporated awareness to the dangers of HIV/AIDS and incorporated biblical principles to living a life of abstinence. God transformed lives and made himself audibly, physically, and mindfully present to so many of us. However, these ministries and intentional times with individuals was not my focus.
Discipleship was one of the richest aspects to this internship. Throughout our time in Africa, we have had leaders from within the ministry and across North America teach us, in depth, about the Lord. Our mornings were dedicated to these rich teachings and learning more about the fullness of the Bible and God’s promises to us. God pursued me. God chased me back into communion with Him and began to show me how much He truly loves me. He began to refine me by fire so that I could begin to feel the freedom of His friendship. God feels my hurts and He has been waiting for me to release these hidden pains in my heart. I am God’s ministry and His grace is always available, I just need to truly receive it.
God made me His focus. He wanted to redefine my relationship with Him and show me how He is my guiding friend. I wouldn’t change these last three months for the world. I loved every moment and I experienced the beauty of building relationship with cool Christians. 😉 I am sad to be leaving, but incredibly stoked for the adventure ahead. The Lord is faithful.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Onna Drake • 2016 International Immersion Intern