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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The End & The Beginning

Alrighty then…who says three months from your last blog is too long? Nobody that I know : ) I have however, received some slack for not concluding this blog series “alyssa4jc” (Alyssa for Journey Corps). I thought a good way to do that would be to sort of recap the highlights of the last two years or so.

If I were to be honest here, I’d say I’d hated support raising. I don’t even like asking for a discount at the restaurant I worked at let alone asking friends, families and stranger to join in on this adventure with me. But it was also the time where I have felt the Lord’s presence over anything else in my life.
       The day all of my money was due was quickly approaching, like tomorrow approaching, and my support online still showed that I only had 48% of my $18,000 support in. at this point everyone is telling me that I’m not going. Frustrated and confused, I decided there was nothing else I could do by tomorrow except pray and hope God would show me some crazy part of what He’s doing. The moment I sat on the park bench He says “follow me, you are going this fall, just wait and be patient, let my glory shine.” Okay, I say…I mean you can’t really argue with that right? That night I had a meeting with the Missions Committee at my church, who were trying to brainstorm on what to do. Until finally, I shared what God had revealed to me that afternoon. With everyone confused now, I left the meeting anxiously awaiting on what God would do. Well that next morning Journey Corps Admin emailed me saying the due date and departure date had been postponed 1 month. That week my support jumped to 96% and I was even able to be in one of my best friends weddings : ) Oh how awesome is the Lord’s provision!

Well I think ‘on the field’ deserves just a quick overview, because there are too many good and bad stories to share. Plus, that is basically what all of my other blogs are about. So just to share a few:


Language learningWater fightsFirst time in Market w/ the crazy manLearning about: His provision
CommunityTripsMoving into host familiesHis love
Culture shockRock quarryDriving moto for the first timeHis mercy
Rats in my bedCampingSomething happening to someone back homeHis grace
Food I love to hateLate night talksThe unknownsHis justice
Being treated like a two year oldTown runsMy dependency on Him
CommunityLiving day to day w/ Him
Thousands of games playedThat it’s not by my works lives are changed, but by His awesomeness

So as I am sure that most of you know that after my first year in Cote d’Ivoire, I returned to California for the month of November and then left again for RCI for two months. Devin (a good friend of mine from the first team) and I accompanied a new couple over to Africa. My ministry turned from secretarial things to administration and orientation. I then focused on helping with Jessica and Steve’s orientation into what Journey Corps is all about on the field. I also looked to help out three others on the team who just moved into their host families and churches.

What is God teaching me now?

And this is the perfect example of what God has been teaching me. If someone were to ask me, this time last year, what I thought my dream job would be, doing what I was doing in Africa those two months was exactly it; mentoring and encouraging people as they try to figure out what it looks like for them to live missional lives. That is the very reason why I had agreed to go back in the first place. The original plan was for me to stay much longer than just 2 months, but for some reason or another God was calling me back home early. Like when I was raising support God kept telling me to just follow him. Thus why I returned to the states so early. Now that I have been here for three weeks I’ve realized that by God sending me back to Africa, He was giving me the desires of my heart. But by Him sending me home again He taught me how well He knows me. He knows the desires of my heart better than I ever could-He made it didn‘t He? I now know that God has something even better planned for me, something I could not possibly imagine. My hearts desire is no longer my own…His hearts desire is now mine. That’s what it means to have my heart broken for what breaks His and moved by what moves His. I get the feeling that that’s how it was supposed to be, even if it wasn’t I am contently resting in the peace that God is so much bigger than I could ever imagine.

Scripture of the Blog:

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

I know for sure He’s not done with me yet! Are you sure of it? What is He doing in and through you? The last I heard, although we wait eagerly, Jesus hasn’t returned yet, so I’m pretty sure that that means He’s still working in you too.

Final Farewell:

Well this is the end of my Africa season and the beginning of the next season of my life. When people asked why I hadn’t written a final blog or newsletter yet, the only thing I could thing of was because writing one last blog, to “officially” close my time is a little silly. My friends, I’m not ready to say ‘good-bye’ to my Ivorian brothers and sisters, or my parents, or my friends, or my church, or my neighbors, or even the guy I buy a bottle of gas from. I don’t want to say ‘see you later’ to the team who has become my family. I don’t want to figure out work and other stuff back here and get caught up in the routine and craziness of life again. However, despite all of these things I know God is going to use them. I will be back to see my Ivorian family members and friends again one day. I know my JC team will be reunited some day (probably a day in July for our friend Heidi Kogler’s wedding). God has a plan and again I am resting in the peace that He knows what He’s doing.

So for one last time…I say thank you to everyone who has supported me in any way, shape or form. Whether you gave money, prayer, a kind thought, or just read these blogs for the kick of it, I am so appreciative. Please update me on your lives and hey…maybe we can get some coffee now that we’re in the same continent again : )

Love always and forever,
Your sister through Christ Jesus
Alyssa Joy Grabarkewitz
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