As someone who talks a lot, it’s hard to sum up the past month in a short update post, but I’ll try my best.
As you may have noticed in my past update, I love to learn. We can all learn so much every single day. And when you’re a part of a three-month intensive international immersion internship (that’s a lot of ‘I’ words!), it’s hard not to take something away from every experience. So, that’s what I’ve been up to: more learning!
Beat the Drum was an incredibly powerful experience for me. Digging into a biblically based HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention curriculum is something I’ve never done. Honestly, I was nervous to present this program to a bunch of high school students. I didn’t know where they were coming from or what they had been through already. I was worried about appearing naive, or that they wouldn’t take things seriously.
Boy, was I wrong. After the first day of teaching in the schools, each of the students wrote letters about their past and some of the questions they struggle with. It was when I read those letters that I realized how much this curriculum is needed. And not just the curriculum and awareness of HIV/AIDS, but the good news of Jesus Christ. These students are searching for purpose, meaning, and value in so many places, unaware that Jesus wants to give them life to the fullest.
I was able to really connect with some of our students one on one and hear their stories. It opened my eyes to the way that Jesus transforms not only our hearts, but every single area of our lives as well. That once we allow Him to be our everything, everything else changes.
Our time in Lesotho was incredible! Who knew that there was this beautiful mountainous kingdom in the middle of South Africa?! I sure didn’t!
Our outreach consisted of pouring into the ministries that LXP Lesotho runs, getting to know the community, and serving them in various ways. We got to participate in some of LXP’s programs including the Saturday kids program, computer classes, Bible study, hosting a soccer tournament, and youth worship team practices. It was awesome to see the work that God has been doing in Lesotho through the leaders of LXP, and how He is changing the community through them.
We also spent our mornings repairing a road in the village, visiting and praying for families, and organizing evening services of worship and prayer. It’s incredible how God taught us all different things through the work that we did this past week! We witnessed the incredible power of prayer, and saw those prayers answered. We learned about the darkness that exists, but that the kingdom of light is so much stronger.
Personally, I have learned a lot about surrender and have been challenged to give up control. Surrender requires so much trust and humility, and involves every area of my life. It’s hard to surrender my ambitions, plans, and identity to Him! But I’m understanding that the things we hold so tight are often the ones that need to be released to the Father. And what better hands to leave my future in than the Creator of the universe?
Surrender is deep and so freeing. I am still learning what this means, and how it can be applied to my life, but am excited to see how God uses it. Giving up control has already given me so much rest and peace!
Reflecting back on this past month, and the whole summer really, my perspective of missions has been radically shifted. Evangelism is important, and making sure people understand the gospel is necessary, but what good is it if people don’t actually know the living God? The Lord has been pressing on my heart the weight of knowing Him as our treasure. He wants His people to know Him intimately and deeply, so that they find Him as the source for all the needs in their hearts. In this beautiful realization of who God is, we find our joy. Missions is helping people discover who God really is. We must have Him as our treasure of highest value, to whom nothing else in this life can compare.
So, there’s my short summary of the past month of my life!
In a few words: the source of true joy is found in surrendering everything to the Father, upon understanding that there is nothing else on this earth that can satisfy us but Him!
I’m excited to keep on living out and sharing this reality wherever we go!
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Proude • 2016 International Immersion Intern