Thursday, April 9, 2009

First Day (written 3/23/09)

Today we got the first glimpse of what a normal Namibian day may look like for us: we woke up in our host home, went to the youth center, worked with Brittany and Steven, worked on remodeling the building, said good-bye to Lulu, ate lunch, played with the kids after school, walked home, shower, quiet time, etc.

Although ours is mostly a relational ministry, there is something to be said for manual labor. It gives us an activity to complete, a temporary purpose, which is helpful during this time of transition.

Today I stood in the doorway to the youth center, and just asked God what we are here for. Why has He asked us to make sacrifices to follow His command to come here- comfort, time, energy, vanity, financial security, leisure, control, being with family and friends… How will He use that?

There is so much to be done. We really don’t know anyone here very well yet. We miss our friends and family. There is no place we have found (yet) where we can be completely alone with God, where we can sing or dance or cry free from judgment. We are learning a knew language and culture…it is overwhelming.

All that gets me through right now are God’s promises: that I am His child, that I cannot be separated from His love, that He has a perfect plan for my life, that I can do all things through Christ…

I usually read the same number Proverbs as the day of the month (Proverbs 1 on the 1st, 2 on the 2nd, and so on). For some reason, today I thought I should do the same thing with Psalms. It didn’t hit me until I saw it: Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

Doesn’t that just say it all?

I could have stopped there and gotten the message, but I continued:

He makes me lay down in green pastures,
He leads me beside the still water.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
For you are with me,
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil,
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
All the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

I shall not want. I have all I need. Even in emotionally challenging times, He is all I need.

Of course, that doesn’t mean all our wants are met: a dinner at Casa with family and friends would be lovely.

This adventure in Africa is a reminder that our desire for comfort, familiarity, and control must always be superceded by our desire for Christ.


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