"There are two great moments in a persons life: the moment you were born and the moment you realize why you were born."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My First Safari Ride

After two weeks of travelling throughout West Africa, I am now taking advantage of having a little break and writing a blog…especially since my last one was April 12th! Wow that is insane…and I am again failing at blogs. I need to find an accountability partner for this problem of mine.

So two weeks ago the Journey Corps team left Cote d’Ivoire and traveled to a neighboring country, Burkina Faso. There we had a little “Family Vacation” as we like to call it. After saying good-bye to four of our team members we thought it was important to come together and regroup as a team. So we went to Bobodulaso and visited a game park. So with 12 people in a legally 6 person car we went on our own little safari. 4 people on top of the car and the rest safe inside we saw elephants, hartebeests, different kinds of antelopes, bush bucks and water bucks, alligators and countless birds. It was beautiful!

A few of us left Bobodulaso for Ouargadougou to meet a short term team from Cedarville College (Ohio). With confusing bus tickets our trip back to Cote d’Ivoire was delayed for two days. Being in another West African country, I experienced another round of culture shock. Burkina Faso is more westernized than Cote d’Ivoire, by far. With traffic lights and strip malls it’s no wonder we went through culture shock. (I even had a cheeseburger!!...like a real cheeseburger). We also visited a missionary family. We sat down on their comfy sofas, ate Snickers, and watched a copy of the latest American Idol…WHAT?!?! I didn’t think this stuff existed in West Africa. It was interesting coming back through the border into Cote d’Ivoire. I had the strangest feeling of “YAY I’m going back home!!!” It’s funny how I have only been living here for 7 months and I already feel that the people I interact with and live with are a part of my friend and family circles. This feels like home. It feels like my comfort. I suppose I shouldn’t find it so strange, since we are totally submerging into this culture. I was also reminded that my home is not here on earth, but in Heaven with the Lord Jesus. It was a really cool realization.

In Bouak√© we had our second set of seminars with our directors Rod and Bakary. We continued to look at projects and studied how Paul did missions. It was interesting to look at scripture almost as a text book, but it’s history…I suppose I sometimes see it as something supernatural and unattainable. Rod also continued on his seminar with the Mission of God and this time he emphasized His creation and the roles we play in taking care of it.

God continues to move in BIG ways that, as always, are un-expecting. God is constantly telling me it isn’t the works I am supposed to be concerned with this year. This year I am being molded and stretched to be in His likeness. I can’t do everything and for me that is tough…I love doing everything and doing things well (the best…my pride) and taking on responsibilities. I have been realizing it is because I am constantly trying to seek people’s approvals instead of just listening to God. I also have been finding that I have peace and comfort knowing that He is the one in control. After fighting for 7 months (honestly 21 years) I finally have said…alright God you’re in control…NOT ME. It’s a daily surrender, one that is difficult sometimes, painful or frustrating in others, but it calls for me to be humble, die to myself and pick up my cross. Obviously easier said than done, but I am learning that it is SO worth it!

Scripture of the Week (month):

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” -Galatians 1:10

Paul’s words are a little blunt, but to the point. Haha and so true.

“He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of ALL creation, became his prized possession.” –James 1:18

In Bouak√© I led a bible study about what God has been showing me and this is an awesome summary. I asked everyone what thing they most held dear as a child. For me, I used the example of my little purple hat. I wore this thing ALL of the time and never left home without it. One time, at an Angel game, I left it in the bleachers. I think I cried for that stupid hat for over a week. My dad picked me up from school one day and said you have a surprise on the front seat of the truck…IT WAS MY LITTLE PURPLE HAT!! Well, I realized I’m God’s little purple hat…when I am lost He cries out for me. He sees me as something to be prized. And it’s not because I deserve it, but because he CHOSE to see me that way, out of love. Again…these last 7 months God has been showing me just how much He pursues and loves His children, His prized possession and that He would do and give anything, even death to His Son, for them. I don’t know about you…but I think that is pretty flippin’ awesome.

Prayer Requests:
-Against spiritual attack & distractions. That Satan could not get a foothold within this team, and within me.
-RCI family & CA family. My sister from Abidjan is going back, pray for safety. George looks like a leopard and is fighting a nasty cold (haha :) just look at his pictures on facebook)
-Relationships here in RCI & on state side
-Energy & strength to continue on to what God has planned for me

Thanks so much for visiting me today. How can I be praying for you and encouraging you? You know…when I ask how you guys are doing I actually want to know  haha so please respond. How are you and what is God doing in your life? Yup yup yup…can’t wait to hear from you!! I hope you guys have a wonderful day!