This week started off strong and, believe it or not, good (read: good. Do not read: perfect, flawless, with lack of times where I still plead with the Lord for time to fly by and for me to be home). After Beat the Drum, our staff finally gave us not just a full-day break, but 3 and 1/2 days! It was so joyous not only to have our base back to our EXP selves (Quietness is a thing again!), but also to have time to actually do what we wanted to do. For the Americans, that meant lots of time in cafes connecting with home. Our time was also filled with movies and rest, time in the word, exploring more of town, and shopping at the market. I think that was one thing I’ve been missing a lot without realizing it: doing what I want to do. The first fully free day when I woke up, I had no idea what to do my entire day and it was actually a truly strange feeling that I was going to get to choose. I know that sounds a little ridiculous… I agree! In some ways, I really connected it with the first tastes of freedom in anything else, too.
On Monday evening (still in our holiday), I had the absolute pleasure of “teaching” a session on Prophecy/Hearing the Voice of God to most of my team and staff here. I loved sharing my heart, again, and most of all watching people step into things they never realized they could. I only shared a little bit about what I’ve learned, and then spent most of the time guiding games/practice time. The response was incredible! Everyone was open with what and how they were hearing/seeing from God and some said it was the first time they felt like they heard from God so clearly. There was even time to prophecy over each other (though you wouldn’t know who you are prophesying over to begin with) with a specific prompt (we were to ask the Lord for a picture of an animal, the meaning behind why this animal represented this person, and a word for the name of the person here that they are supposed to start mentoring). I think most people in the room were picture people rather than word people, because many of the names didn’t match up (though a couple did!). What was really incredible was that every single person got a picture of a different animal and pretty detailed explanations as well, and when each person revealed their number after hearing their prophecy, they ALL felt that theirs was extremely accurate. This week, their job is to keep trusting it and practicing it. I’m excited to see where this goes! I’m also praising God for being SUCH a good Father that He speaks to His kids. Thank you God that your heart is for that and for us!
On Tuesday afternoon, our holiday ended and we spent our first ministry time each focusing in on our own particular student who we meant at Beat the Drum who we are supposed to start mentoring. On Wednesday we went to the school again for Reach for Life (a club started based on the lessons of Reach for Life) and on Thursday we did our usual community outreach home visits.
Friday consisted of “The Luke 10” challenge, which consisted of us going out into the community two by two and meeting strangers, which was out of a lot of people’s comfort zone, but actually it has been my favorite ministry time yet! It reminded me of what we do back home, just genuinely trying to get to know strangers you’d never meet otherwise. We also had the task of learning at least one person’s story and retelling it to 12 people. Some of you received that email already, but for everyone else, I’d like you to meet Edgar.
Edgar Sampa is 26 years old and has lived in Livingstone for his entire life. My friend Limpo and I met Edgar while walking down a street near the base that we live at. He is the owner of a small shop that sells treats and small groceries. After speaking to him a little bit, he invited us back in the yard behind and we got the chance to hear more about his life.
Edgar was an only child and his parents passed away when he was only 10 years old. He did not know any of his other relatives and he became a street kid until he went into the care of Ebenezer, an organization taking care of orphans in Livingstone. He was there until he reached grade 10, because the organization has an age limit. After this time, Edgar was referred to another organization called Care and they took responsibility over him until he completed his schooling. One thing that was evident of Edgar while speaking with him was that he was very intelligent. He shared with us the name of the school that he went to and we recognized it as one of the very best schools in Livingstone. Clearly, Edgar has a smart brain and a whole lot of potential. After graduating from school in 2009 and always being interested in business, Edgar opened up the shop where we met him (He has been running it for six years now and enjoys his work very much).
We spoke to Edgar for a long time and were even able to be let in to some of his struggles. He shared with us that he lives alone and, though he attends a local church, he described his walk with God as an unstable one: always going forward and backward, never feeling as close to God as he wanted. One problem that he continuously faces is having lots of thoughts swirling around in his head. In an effort to silence those thoughts, he often turns to alcohol. He shared with us that when he does that, he feels as if he disappoints God in many ways and also does not feel worthy to stand before Him. We were able to encourage him with the truth about his situation, using pictures and words that the Holy Spirit was putting in our head and heart to reassure him of his unchanging worth in the eyes of the Father. We were also able to take the time to remind him of who he was, as an adopted son of the Most High God, and it was so beautiful to see in his eyes that those truths were hitting his heart. We spoke to him, too, about other options to relieve all of his “swirling thoughts” (and that he didn’t have to turn to drinking to solve these problems). He was encouraged by this and is planning to try reading the Word whenever the thoughts come. He also invited us back to visit him whenever we wanted, and we are excited to continue our friendship with him. We believe the Lord is going to do great things in Edgar’s life and we are excited to keep up with him for these last 4 weeks of the program here and beyond.
Other than that, our week has been pretty normal. We are still making preparations for our trip to Isoka. I hit a “low moment” again in the middle of the week pleading with the Lord to send me home. It’s very frustrating to be somewhere you don’t want to be and to 1) know you need to stay 2) know you won’t get as much good out of it as you can without having a better attitude and 3) you’re not able to fix that attitude no matter how hard you’ve been trying. One thing that has been slightly helpful is reminding myself that the Lord knew what He was getting me into and He even know how much I’d be miserable in it, but still He had a purpose. I can’t wait to be able to look back and see what that purpose was, but until then, I’m going to celebrate the little victories this week, and submit to Him the difficulties. Only 4 weeks left to go!
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brooke Jeries • 2015 International Immersion Intern