Halfway there. It's been 2 weeks in South Africa, and we have 2 more to go. And I'm finding it super difficult to keep up with this! You know, I bet I won't be able to process half of this trip until I get home and realize where I've been for a month. It's incredible- the more I think about it, the more amazed I am that I get to experience this. I'm taking a "time out" from my life for the last five years, to not only travel to the most beautiful country I have ever seen, but also to work for this amazing ministry.
But now that it's been halfway, I'm starting to get comfortable here -... and it's easy to lose focus on what God's doing and what He wants to do through me while I'm here. I absolutely love everyone here. Every person that I've met, that works for Living Hope and ACTS- well, I would actually choose to hang out with them. And the people we are serving are so easy to love... and it is very easy to just smile and hug my way through my day. That part is simple. But to allow God to let me see through His eyes... that takes some prayer and focus first. And here's the thing- You can't love, until you have received love from the perfecter and author of love. And until you can fully grasp and accept the love and grace of Jesus... any other love falls so incredibly short.
So last night I asked God to show me Himself at work. And today I met Ursula. We were working at Living Grace and listening to the devotion for the morning before breakfast was served. I saw a woman sitting a seat in front of me to the right- and I just figured it wouldn't hurt to introduce myself. I'm not sure why her. Now I know why.
It turns out that Ursula stayed after breakfast to help prepare the vegetables and potatoes for the stew at lunch. So we chatted. Ursula is 21. She has a 6 year old and a 4 year old, and was beaten by her boyfriend through her pregnancies. So she left him. And her mother- one of her only Christian role models, passed away two years ago suddenly, right after Easter. She never even told her kids she was sick. Ursula has had many jobs, and lost most of them b/c of drugs or other reasons. But the coolest part of her story were all the ways that she told me how God has provided for her. Today the devotion was about parents whose child was born without breathing... just like Ursula's son. And a month after he was born, through prayer, God answered them and he started breathing. She relied on God to do it, and He came through. And she told me of other times when God has met her needs, big and small. He feeds her when she's hungry, and healed her son when he was sick. So before I left, I prayed with Ursula. And I left there hopeful. He cares about all of Ursula's needs. And yours and mine. God is working!!!