Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jan 14, 2008 - Ladybrand, South Africa

Okay, now that that is off my chest.

So, last night. Anita had asked if I would help with a devotion. Instead trying to out pour wisdom, ha, I just decided to let the Word and the Holy Spirit do the work. Up until now, every time I have opened it on this trip, Scripture has just rung loud and strong. The perfect word has come right out. Well, I went and grabbed my bible from my room and opened it randomly right to Romans 16. I was sure because I had prayed just before doing so, that God would show me what to share with the group.

It was frustrating and I was disappointed because nothing was there that were familiar words that rang in my heart. If you are curious what it is... I encourage you to read it if it isn't recalled to mind. I kept my finger on it, but continued to look through the new testament for other references like 1 Cor 15:58, Hebrew 6:10-12, or Phil 2:12-13. I wrote them down on scraps of paper and let them choose their verse. I decided that if one verse didn't mean a lot to the group, maybe another would. (Covering all my bases was the plan.) I asked if we would go around the table and each took a turn reading. But of all 7 of the scriptures, an amazing thing happened when Romans 16: 1-5 was read.

Brenda spoke up and said that she had done a study on this chapter specifically and that no where else in the Bible are these names mentioned and yet because of the work that they did others were able to spread the Good News. God loved these people so much, as much as any one of the disciples that He made sure that their names were included in the Book of Life. Gill also spoke up and shared from this.

Later when we did a round robin prayer, Barb tearfully prayed giving thanks for the insight and revelation of this passage of scripture that was made clear to the questions that she herself was asking just hours before that yes, God does know even her in this very hour... who she is and the needs that she has. Barb is the missionary who lives near Uncle Frank and Aunt Nancy.

I write this to you to share with you that I learned from this. God knows. His purpose is great, and if I am asking to be used, I must be willing to be obedient, even when I don't necessarily understand or see the bigger picture. He sees what we don't.

This work is defiantly a labor of love. To take in the culture, the project itself of jewelry making, the language, to understand how JOH got here, to help with where they want to go, one week is not enough. Life is very different here. People are mostly the same though. Giving money is not what they need. They need participation. A picture is worth a thousand words. I will attach a few from today. Anita, Brenda and I went to one of the JOH projects about 10 minutes drive from here.

These child of them asked if where I live is much different.
They live here in this village. It is called a township. It is very different than the little rondoval villages in the mountains of Lesotho. These people don't own their land. There is not a sense of pride as much here. They must be taught responsibility, skills, independent thinking from the stronghold of their elders. The government has very much of a control over how impoverished they really are. There is one place in the township that the people go to get water.

The goal of jewels of Hope is the 2 1/2 hours with the children once a week. It is not jewelry sales. However, because the jewelry is the means to the end, it must move. They are coming up with some great designs for the next couple tri-mesters. Y'all are going to want each one, I already do. But, the goal is the time with the kids, to make an impact in their little world, to show them that someone cares and help plant seeds of who the one true God is. The leader of each group needs to be someone is a respected Christian from the area. Petunia is the one that will mentor these kids. She is the one that Anita is pouring into right now. I will include
a picture of her.

I just lost power. I will have to send the pictures later.

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