let justice and praise become my embrace

figuring out the art of losing myself to better know Him

home Tuesday, 26 June 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 6:49 am

I’ve been thinking a lot lately.  Well, in the past day or two especially. I am back in the States. I flew in from South Africa early Sunday morning, and met my parents in the airport.

You know the saying “Home is where the heart is”? I am realizing that I have given pieces of my heart to Africa, to my friends from DTS, and I no longer am so sure where my home is… really. Sure, Ashburn is my home. It’s where I grew up, celebrated my 3rd birthday, learned to ride a bike, and it’s where my family lives now. But I think Ashburn will have to share my heart with Rwanda, and with South Africa.

DTS was incredible. I simply don’t have time to sit here and type up all the stories I have from South Africa or Rwanda, but I will tell you this: I have tasted and seen God’s goodness, I have seen more glimpses of his amazing grace, and I am in awe of the beauty God has placed in Africa. If you want to hear specific stories, invite me to a cup of coffee. 

I won’t lie, reverse culture shock is throwing me for a loop right now. I miss people, I miss sounds, I miss South Africa, and I am hoping this feeling doesn’t last too long because it is rather painful. I read a journal entry I had written in March, and it was so apt for what I am feeling now.  I was writing about how I needed to learn to let go of people, memories and experiences, and rather hold on to Jesus. I am one who finds it rather difficult to let go of those things. I won’t hold tightly to money or possessions (normally), but when it comes to people… I am quite tight-fisted. Which, is not completely a bad thing, but might could be if say, I keep crying all the time because of how badly I miss Africa and my DTS friends. I’m not sure how to release them in a healthy way…I feel like I have been traumatized by leaving every single person who has lived with me the past 6 months…but I am reminded of God’s faithfulness. And if He was faithful to provide me with friends in SA, and if He was the one who called me to go there in the first place, then I am sure He will help me to move on into other things He has for me in this brand new season of life.

Alright, so this marks the end of DTS, and my blog. Thanks for reading!

 

love is difficult action Saturday, 17 February 07

Filed under: LOVE — joyunspeakable @ 11:40 pm

Today as I was walking to Checkers (for the second time this morning) with Gareth, Struan, and Adebayo, a homeless woman was hit by a car. I heard the sound and turned around to see what had happened. The person lay motionless on the pavement (I didn’t know it was a woman until we got closer). As we approached, it was clear to see that she was seriously hurt. Instinctively I began to pray under my breath, restraining my desire to run over to her side. As we stood there, I began to feel frantic- should I pray outloud? Should I call the police? Should I move her out of the road? What do I do?
Never have I felt so utterly helpless. The whole scene was unreal and I was shocked at how calm I was, looking back. Even when she began to splurt blood from her mouth and nostrils, I didn’t lose control of my emotions. My mind was thinking a thousand thoughts a minute. Fear gripped my heart. Fear for the woman’s wellbeing. Fear of praying out loud. Fear of what others might think if I tried to help.
Most people told us to not touch her, she might have a broken neck. But as I stood there looking at her in her helpless state, coughing up blood and not even being able to breathe, I could not believe that NO ONE was touching her. Not even holding her hand. I knelt and grabbed her hand, but I still didn’t know what to do.
Eventually Gareth convinced me that the ambulance would come for her. I didn’t want to budge, I wanted to do something that would actually help her, but what would that be? Fear kept me where I was. We walked into the grocery store and as I found an empty aisle, I walked down it, letting the tears run freely.
How could I have just stood there as the poor woman lay on hot concrete, surrounded by strangers? What if it hadn’t been the woman, but one of my DTS friends that had gotten hit? I would’ve run to their side right away and talked to them, stroked their hair…SOMETHING!!! What the hell is wrong with me? As soon as we got home, I ran up to a roof balcony with my pillow and cried into it. I told God how sorry I was for not loving her. For not doing anything. For letting fear dictate my actions. For being apathetic. I could sense him telling me not to feel guilty. And as I quieted down, he gave me peace. But he then began to speak to me something that I think will change my life.
He wants me to change how I view people. Every single human being is made in the image of God, therefore has infinite value. Every person is loved by God equally. Why had I hesitated at the accident? Because in my heart I believed that her life, as a homeless beggar woman, was not as valuable as someone who had a car, a house, a family, nice clothes. What a lie. I thought maybe she would be fine, like it was okay that she was bleeding from her mouth and nose. It seemed so natural for her to be there on the ground, when in reality, who knows what they are supposed to do when they are in pain? Does anyone plan on getting hit by cars, can you take a class where they teach you how to respond in a situation like that? No!
It was too easy for me to just take her hand and pray silently. God is challenging me to love people and love is difficult action. Love should be hard to do. Often times I have the right heart intentions, but don’t show love in a true way. For instance, the street kids I see every day on my way to Checkers, I have started to give them food every now and again. Is that love? At first glance, one might say yes. But it’s not. For me, it’s something easy to do that has made me feel better about passing them by. But what if I were to sit down with them, hold them, talk to them, laugh with them, really get to know them? That would be real love. That would not be easy to do. And that is what God is telling me to do.
Never again will anyone lie alone in pain if I am there. I will hold their hand, talk to them, sing to them, pray for them… without regard to what anyone says or thinks. I want to be the love of Jesus to everyone I meet.
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” -Matthew 25:40
I want to see the face of Jesus when I look into people’s faces. Imago Dei. I want to stop giving people different value in my own mind, I want to see the great value they have in God’s eyes, and treat them as such.
May you love today without holding back for fear of anything. May you love in such a way that the world sees something radically different in you. May that love draw people to Jesus.

 

Sunday, 4 February 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 4:59 pm


we climbed muizenberg mountain to watch the sun rise…

it was completely worth it!

julienn, age 8 and his brother ludovic, age 10 (their parents are staff here on the base)
both of them can speak english and french fluently…and a little bit of laos. such cute boys!

our accountability group met on the playground last week.

so much fun!

the most beautiful gate! at olive station- the best mediterranean cafe/restaurant in muizenberg (ok, so maybe it’s the only mediterranean cafe, but still)

muizenberg- the beach

 

Saturday, 3 February 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 12:34 am

Got my nose pierced on Tuesday. But don’t worry… it didn’t hurt at all (ok, maybe a little bit), it looks really pretty, and God said it was okay if I did.

Here’s the full story. Ever since seeing some of my GCC friends who had cute nose piercings, I have secretly wanted to get one myself. But I’ve always been too scared. The idea of a needle going through my nose freaks me out a bit. Also, another big reason I didn’t get it earlier was the fact that there really was no good reason to. I felt like it’d be a selfish thing, because I’d only be getting it because I wanted to.
So, Tueday morning, I asked God what he thought of me getting a nose ring. He didn’t answer me until later that morning when the speaker in our lecture had us open the Bible to Ezekiel 16. When we got to verse 12, my heart leaped and I sensed God saying to me, “Hey if you want to get your nose pierced, if it’s something that is important to you, then go ahead. You have my blessing, after all you are mine and I love you.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. In fact I was kinda disgusted with myself taking advantage of scripture like that. I hate when people take things out of context of the Bible to make it say what they want to hear, or when they go and do things because “God told them to”. And yet, I felt such a peace… so that very afternoon my friend Josh drove me, Rene, and Greg to Kalk Bay (two trainstops from here) to get my nose pierced.
It cost 150 Rand (which is roughly $20) and only took a couple minutes. The man who pierced my nose didn’t use a gun, which made me kinda scared, but it honestly didn’t hurt. He warned that my eyes would water when the needle pierced my nose, but it ended up not doing that at all. He was also surprised that it didn’t bleed afterwards. I like to believe that God blessed the entire process. It didn’t even turn red or swell! I’m here on Day 3 after getting it done and it doesn’t even hurt.
If you get the chance, read Ezekiel 16. I love it. In a way, it is what God has done for each of us. So, for the next however many years that I have this piercing I will be reminded of what God has done for me…and hopefully I will not respond in the way Israel did later in the passage.
Okay, so that’s it for now. The lesson I learned from this was that God is in the intimate details of each of our lives. If it concerns you, it concerns him…if only because He LOVES you! So, don’t be fooled into thinking the Holy Spirit will only speak to you about sharing the gospel or praying that someone be healed…that’s crap. He wants to be involved in the most mundane, non-spiritual parts of your life- to make every part of you filled with his presence. I am certainly learning to enjoy his input in unexpected ways of everyday life.
: )
Love you all!

 

Monday, 29 January 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 5:24 am

This weekend has been amazing. Saturday morning a group of us woke up a quarter to five in the morning to climb Muizenberg Mountain to watch the sun rise. The view from the mountain was breathtaking…I took pictures but they don’t do justice to the actual beauty, so I don’t think I will post them. That day was also Taz’s birthday so we sang Happy Birthday to her when we got to the top. We got back and showered, had breakfast, then I watched Identity with some of my team members…I didn’t enjoy it…mostly because I was screaming every five seconds, and hugging my pillow tightly. But it was a fun experience.
Sunday (today) was George’s birthday, I swear we must’ve sang Happy Birthday to that boy 500 times today. I went to church at Muizenberg Community, which is a Church of England church in South Africa….it was good. But I think I like Bay Community Church the best so far. After church I picked up my laundry from the laundrette down the road (the base’s dryer is broken so Rene and I thought it’d be best to pay a little extra to have someone else dry it). Anyway, someone had broken into the laundrette the night before, thankfully they didn’t take clothes, just some money.
Every DTS person on the base has work duties every day, and sometimes on the weekend. My work duty for today was to cook dinner (for 70 people), so Greg and I did that. It was a lot of fun….I must’ve cut the skin off of 60 pieces of chicken. It was a bloody mess. But we got to listen to FreshlyGround while we cooked and that was fun. (FreshlyGround is a band that originated in South Africa, and they are very unique…if you can get your hands on their CD, you should! And listen to track 7) After dinner we had a time of Creative Worship where we got into groups and could come up with a creative way of worshipping God- dance, skit, musical, singing, art etc. Our group did the Bible in 10 minutes: from creation til the second coming of Christ. It was crazy. After that time, we threw a surprise birthday party for George, made s’mores (which reminded me of America) and threw people into the pool…me being one of them. I was fully clothed and had my jeans on too, but it was fun because then I jumped out and pulled my DTS leader in. Then we were all screaming cause it was cold, then the neighbor stuck her head over our wall and told us to be quiet because she was trying to sleep.
So we all went to bed. Except a group of us who decided to play cards and drink tea until just ten minutes ago. It’s past midnight now. Anyway, I learned how to play cribbage tonight, it’s sort of complicated, but I enjoy it.
I must go to bed now.
Ek moet bed toe gaan.
Tengo que ir a dormir.
If you could pray for me tonight, I’d appreciate it. I absolutely love it here in South Africa, and I am starting to feel as though I could live here forever…which I know is rash considering I’ve only been here a month. Anyway, I need to know what God is speaking to me to do after DTS…go back to the U.S., stay here and do a School of Biblical Studies with YWAM, or whatever. It’s hard to think clearly when I want to go back to GCC, but at the same time want to stay here! Please pray for wisdom and God’s leading in my life, especially on what I should do this coming fall. Thanks everyone!
Lekker slaap.

 

Wednesday, 24 January 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 11:51 pm

Today I found out where my outreach location is going to be. I am very excited because I am going to RWANDA! It’s definitely sad because our entire group is going to be splitting up for three months, but I am trying to see the purpose God has for me in this. I have a hard time saying goodbye to people, and it’s no different here. I will still be in Muizenberg, South Africa until near the end of March (I think the 24th). But then, off to Rwanda!
I do have a request for all of you that read this blog. I have a friend here named Adebayo, who is an amazing young man of God. He has trusted the Lord through the entire process of getting here to Muizenberg, buying a plane ticket and having enough money to purchase a visa. However, he still does not have enough money to pay for the first phase of the DTS, let alone the second outreach phase. He is in my group, so is scheduled to come to Rwanda with me, but he needs money. If you are able to, please pray about maybe sending a check for him here. If you just have a note of encouragement for him, feel free to send that as well. He is completely trusting God for this, and I know how you all love to give. Anyway, send it to

Adebayo -January DTS 2007
P.O. Box 129
Muizenberg 7950
South Africa

If you cannot give, please take a moment to pray that God would send him the funds necessary. Thank you SO much!
And please, if you could pray for me too, I would appreciarte it. I am starting to feel tired and sometimes overwhelmed with the work (although it does not compare to the workload at GCC), it is very energy-draining. Please pray for renewed strength and JOY and love and open ears to hear God.
Yeah, that’s about it.
Oh, and if you are at all interested in reading about the rest of my team, click on this link:
www.muizdts.wordpress.com
May you live today with the awareness of God’s grace on you!

 

Saturday, 20 January 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 4:05 am


YWAM Muizenberg- this building used to be a Jewish hotel known as “Shrimptons”, but now houses YWAMers from all over the world.


Olive Station- my new favorite cafe/restaurant…it feels like you’re in Greece

Caro, Jonie, me and Georgie…trying to do some sort of kissy face…not really working.

this makes me laugh.

the beach!