Maybe we should start with a few new skills I’ve picked up since you last saw me. I’m quickly approaching pro-status at the following things:
- catching frogs in our room
- throwing bricks into big, mystery holes
- eating mangos… and immediately flossing mango “hair’ out of my teeth… in the dark
- singing a song about Jonah and the whale in Swazi
- losing at every single card game I play
- pretending to love instant coffee (with chicory, Rhonda!)
Get ready for this, America!
Our first week of DTS (Discipleship Training School) has been awesome! We spend mornings and often evenings in lecture learning about worldview, with our afternoons blocked off for community outreach and work duties. Mine, Shayla’s and Lizzie’s work duty is called “Hospitality”… but you might call it janitorial duty. Lots of sweeping, toilet paper-stocking and whatever needs to get done around base to make it ready for visitors and make it a nice place to live for teams and staff.
This week, we were so excited and ready to get in the community for our first scheduled community outreach, participating in a feeding program for orphans and vulnerable children… but God had other plans. It’s summer here – which also happens to be rainy season- and, boy-oh-boy did it rain! The roads quickly turned to small rivers and the lightning was striking too close for comfort, so we decided not to go. We lost power around 2pm and the water went out by 4pm. If we learned anything that day, it was how to laugh together. We used the daylight to read and write, and then made the best out of cards in the dark until we decided to get all 15 of us – plus a few extras – to crowd around Shayla’s laptop to watch the Swan Princess. So what if we hadn’t showered and we were in close quarters with no fans… we’re family now. And, you’ll be happy to know, the movie and our first big S African stormy night both had happy endings. Although we didn’t have water until the next day, the power came on just as we were going to bed so we had a fan in our room!
Our worldview discussions have been incredible as well. We’ve been discussing what it means to have a Biblical worldview. For me, it’s been a week of mobilizing or setting my heart on action! We’ve been looking at big concepts – like violence and famine and discussing how to address the root of the person and the culture’s worldview, or beliefs, rather than just the fruit, or the action.
We’ve been talking about what Truth is and that a Biblical worldview means seeing the Kingdom of God in real ways on earth – relying on both our spirituality and the resources we’ve been given. We can’t just ship in a ton of food to starving communities in Africa and think it will “fix” them. Nor can we just stay comfortably where we are and hope and pray that God will send food. We can pray for strategy, Truth and resources to know how to steward our resources and the gifts we’ve been given to provide education about agriculture or whatever we are led to do.
I’ve been thinking about that balance regarding where I am right now. Spending mornings in prayer times, worship and lecture about all kinds of holy stuff and afternoons in community outreach – doesn’t get much more spiritual than that, huh?
Well, today for community outreach time, the boys went to a community worship event and the girls had a whole different kind of outreach. One of the founding missionary families at Ten Thousand Homes is moving out of their off-base home at the end of the month in hopes that their new home on-base will be finished in time. We are all trying to help. Today our duty was moving bricks, wheel-barreling bricks over hills, rocks and other mysterious landscapes, and finally chunking bricks with all that we had into a big hole we couldn’t even see. (Please don’t ask me why.) A bunch of girls pretending we couldn’t see the mystery bugs… only makes sense to occupy ourselves by tossing bricks into the abyss while we talked about ice cream flavors. (I threw in a request to make cookie-in-a-skillet.)
You KNOW how much I would have loved to be worshipping and squeezing on some sweet lil’ babies this afternoon, but I felt honored and so happy to be sweating and cutting up my arms and fingers for Jesus. It was a perfect reminder of what we’ve been discussing all week – living a Kingdom life in all that we do. Jesus washed feet, cooked breakfast… and I’m pretty sure He would have chunked a brick (with far better accuracy than us).
Bringing glory to God doesn’t have a prescription; it has an attitude and a relationship.
I do hope to send more sweet African children pictures soon – but for now, I’m expanding my worldview and learning more and more about who God is. Yeeee-hawwww!
Last Friday, we had an AWESOME day at Kruger Park on a safari and swimming at the pool. Check these out!