Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wow, sometimes I am just in awe of my life. God has been so good to me. Sure, I have struggles, hurts and frustrations but I am amazed at the way God has been faithful to me. None of you may have realized it but I was facing some pretty big and real fears before coming here to South Africa. When I made the commitment to come back in the spring of 2009 I didn't really have much fear about leaving my comfortable, easy, North American life for South Africa. I just felt a lot of joy about being clear on what God had called me to do. Somehow, during a spiritually vulnerable time during tour with the choir in the UK, satan snuck in and replaced the original joy I had with fear. I'm not sure how that happened but it did. I was fearful about failing in what God had called me to do. I also had huge fears about my relationship with the people I would be working with here. I wish I could describe how I felt when after completing the long journey here. After a 11 hour flight and a 5 hour drive I sat alone in South Africa and wondered "What in the word am I doing here?" Even though I had met a very nice MFL staff family and was looking forward to seeing the 23 kids and 2 chaperones I had traveled with I still felt very much alone. Now, looking back, I am so glad that God put me in that "alone" place because it caused me to run directly into His ever present arms and seek out refuge. I knew I was beat.... I couldn't do anything on my own. I am so thankful that God gave me strength and perseverance to face the fears head on. He was faithful to replace my fear with joy. I know things won't be perfect or even easy here with ACC in South Africa but I know it's where He has called me to be for the moment. So for now I will take each day as it comes. I will drive the Land Rover on the "wrong" side of the road listening to the small children yell "Music for Life" as I drive through the villages to our outreach programs. I will spend time sitting eating peri peri chips (french fries with hot peppers and vinegar) at the picnic table at the gas station with my co-workers building relationships with them. After telling a Bible Story I will serve juice and buns to the 50 little children sitting on the dirty school room floor at a village school. I will spend time with "my" choir kids helping them with homework or just playing. I will sit on the old swingset at Music for Life Academy and chat with the R.A.'s (residence assistants) who live at the school and act as parents to all the children in the boarding school. I will do my best to encourage them in their hard work. I will try to cheerful do whatever God asks of me while asking Him to continually replace my fear with His joy. Thanks for joining me on the journey.

Monday, January 04, 2010

God's plans are PERFECT

Notes on my UK holidays

God is so good to me and has reminded me that His plans are perfect. When I first set out to join choir #33 here in the UK I was planning on flying to South Africa with the choir when the tour was over. A few months ago it became apparent that God had different plans and I needed to wait a few weeks before going to S. Africa. I must admit I was somewhat frustrated and really wondered what God was doing. I should have known He just wanted to bless me. I have just spent 2 weeks having a mini vacation here in the UK and it was exactly what I needed. I spent a week in Scotland with Eleni (another chaperone) with a family that had hosted the choir back in June. They are a great family that have become huge fans of the choir and have really done a lot for ACC and specifically my Choir #33 kids. They live on a hill on a mountain and we had a beautiful snowy Christmas. Eleni and I had fun playing with the 2 girls and went sledding (or sledging as they call it) and built a snowman and an igloo. It was a blessing to me because it was exactly what I would have been doing if I was at home- hanging out with my sisters and their families. I learned that I don't really like Christmas Pudding (fruitcake with nuts with Brandy poured over it and lit on fire) and I LOVE Sticky Toffee Pudding. After Scotland my next destination was London. Eleni came with me to Edinburgh (where we had spent a month with the choir back in Aug.) before I traveled on to London. It was fun to spend part of the day there remembering all the fun I had there when I first joined Choir #33. My time in London has been great also. Considering I have spent the last 5 months traveling with 33 people I was really happy to be on my own at a little B&B. It was the perfect opportunity to “regroup” and “refocus” on life. My friend Adrian (who I met on a ACC trip to Uganda in 2006) lives here so it has been wonderful to catch up with him and also spend a fair amount of time with him and his friends. Adrian was brave enough to let me practice driving on the “wrong side” of the road in his new car. I didn't dent anything or kill anyone and I think Adrian is still my friend so I guess it was pretty successful. It is great to know I have even just the tiniest bit of driving experience before heading to South Africa where I will be driving right away. I was also blessed to be able to go to Adrian's church with his friends. Being on tour has taught me to never take church for granted. Typically on tour we are in church all the time but never just to be there, if you know what I mean. Plus you just can't go to church with 23 cute African kids and be “normal”. So it was wonderful to just enjoy worship and teaching without any strings attached. (and I think that this church is just about perfect because mid-service they pass around chocolate!) So today I am off on a new adventure to South Africa and I'm going to work hard at remembering that God's plans are perfect! Thanks everyone for your love, support and encouragement! Please keep it coming!