This week we have had a bit of a regular schedule on the base. Poetice International works with in-country partners, so here in Livingstone, we are all a part of an organization called Elijah Mission International: Zambia (EMIZ) and the program we are doing here is called The Elijah Experience.
While we are on the base, our schedules look like this (so you can know what I’m up to, what you can be praying for— and when):
8:00 prayer and worship
9:00 session (workshops/lectures)
19:00 evening session/debrief
On Mondays, everyone on the base fasts together. On Thursdays, we have an extra prayer and worship night. On Fridays, we have “expect the unexpected”… My personality doesn’t like those much.
There’s little things that are good and bad like 8 kwacha (~0.85 cent) gelato downtown and cold water bucket showers or the fact that I’ve eaten more nshima than I ever want to (I’m not a fan yet… praying that comes soon… there’s going to be a lot more of it) and the tea I’m currently sipping that was made from some grass and leaves found on the side of the road (it just so happens to be the best tea I’ve ever tasted).
There’s also big things that are good and bad. The fact that I’ve had so much time with the Lord is beautiful. I don’t remember ever having so much and it’s glorious. I know He’s doing a huge work in me. It’s also really hard here, though. In one way, not being able to communicate with all of you as much as I’d like is really starting to take a toll on me. I don’t think I’ve ever realized so much the value of the community I’m in. I always knew it was good, but I’m realizing now how essential it is. There are awesome people here with me in Zambia and that’s really good, but I love that the second I get to connect with “my people” at home, they push me closer to Jesus than I’ve felt yet in the middle of the trials this trip has presented. I look forward to this group I’m with getting to a place where they can do it, too, but for now I think it’s okay to miss “my people”.
This week we have been studying the story of God, becoming even more rooted in the gospel we all love so much and the different aspects of God’s story and how our stories fit into it. One of my favorite sessions was getting to hear from Micah Kephart, the founder of Poetice International. He shared, among other things, about our own “integral mission” with Poetice/EMIZ in the proclamation paired with demonstration of the gospel in our lives. I’ve loved recognizing and reminding myself of human kind’s shared responsibility to bring healing to the world on every dimension: spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological, relational, social, and environmental. After all, Jesus came to make ALL things new.
On Tuesday we had our first ministry day. One of the things that we did was visit a young adult who participates in some of the ministries that EMIZ runs who is currently in the hospital (prayers for her healing!!). She should have died from what had happened to her, and she is living, but in a lot of pain and has been in the hospital for a while. The hospital looked very different than anything I had seen in the States. The only pain medication she could be on was Ibuprofen. It was devastating talking to her and her family and I could hardly keep from crying while trying to encourage them. We prayed with her and read scripture over her and I’m believing that the Lord will heal her! The women of the group also walked to a woman’s house and met with her and her friend and simply fellowshipped together. They are both hungry for the word and for the Lord so it was an enormous blessing to spend time with them and pour into their lives. I even got to lead worship! Pray that the Lord would continue to increase my worship-leading abilities! I’ve stepped out a lot vocally and am trusting that as I follow where He leads, there will be fruit.
Speaking of stepping out, I’ve also had the opportunity to share a little of what I’ve learned about identity and the father heart of God. It was truly beautiful to see the way the Lord moved in our community that day revealing more of Himself! And I’m excited to see the way He continues to move and use me. I’m so lucky that He doesn’t have to use me one bit, and there are a million people more qualified than I am, and yet He keeps looking into my eyes and choosing me and I never ever want that to feel un-extraordinary.
At the end of the week, one of our speakers shared with us an amazing message on how our work can’t be done out of our own strength. Anyone who wanted to lay themselves down and give room for the finished work of Jesus to be their ministry was invited to be anointed with oil by one of the leaders. I think it is a good thing for me to continue reminding myself of. There’s really so much going on here than myself. There’s a greater God at greater work in a greater nation (and world) than I can even comprehend—especially when I’m busy thinking of me me me all the time.
I’ve mentioned that God said “Narnia” was going to play a big role in what I’m doing here this summer and it’s been crazy how much that has already proved true. Sadly, I wouldn’t have the time to share even a quarter of the ways that has happened. I will share, though, one of the hardest things I’ve heard, because I think that means it’s going to eventually means it will be the most valuable.
Last night, a new friend and I were watching “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” (I happened to leave the disc in my computer, so it’s exciting to have a movie to watch here! Especially that one. Jesus…. Hah!) and we got to the part where Edmund first stumbles (literally) into Narnia. The very first thing he does when he enters is fall right into the White Witch’s path and then listens to her promises of sweets (comforts). I was watching this and heard God say, “Brooke, don’t be Edmund. Don’t make deals with the enemy for the sake of comfort.”
What you might not know is I’ve been considering lots of different things for the sake of comfort… including wondering if I’m supposed to be here, or if I should stay here at all. I need to remember it’s not about me. It’s not about comfort. It’s not about anything but Him and glorifying Him and giving Him the praise He’s due. Luckily, I was anointed to do just that.
This next week we will be on an outreach in the city of Luanshya (about 12 hours north of where we are now). Please be praying for me and for our team. I’m worried and excited all at once, but praying that most of all, He will be praised.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brooke Jeries • 2015 International Immersion Intern