Wednesday, June 30, 2010

pictures or clapping

I had to laugh the other day about a few emails I got. In one day, I got 4 emails asking me to post some pictures of my trip. I laughed because honestly I haven't been taking a lot of pictures. I know I just scared some of you. I have taken about 800 pictures, but I just don't carry the camera with me everywhere with me.

Yesterday I was going to get my camera and start take some pictures per people's request, but I got distracted. Instead of getting the camera, I ended up going and hanging out with a 2 year old boy. Some people here think he may have autism and we are in the process of trying to send him to get tested. He is 2 and doesn't walk or crawl. He gets around by sliding on his butt in the sitting position. He won't make eye contact and has a lot of tantrums that usually end up with him hurting himself. He needs a lot of extra care. So yesterday I sat him on my lap facing me and we clapped. First I clapped with his hands, then he put his hands on the outside of mine and clapped for me. Then he would make a noise with his mouth every time my hands clapped together. Then he started getting it and clapped by himself. For 2 hours, we clapped and for 2 hours it didn't matter what was going in the world, it was all about him and me.

For me pictures are good, they capture a memory that I don't want to forget. I am learning though about the people in the picture. They have names and stories. The other day I flipped through a magazine (I haven't done that in months) and my heart sank. There was an article about AIDs and the people whose lives have been affected by it. For me, the article was not about a distant issue, but one that I have lived in for 4 months. The faces have names. I have changed their diapers and comforted them when they were sad. I have held their hand on the playground and kicked around a soccer ball with them. They are more than a photo, they are a person.

For those who want a picture, the pictures on this post was taken by a friend of mine. We went to another orphanage last week and I made a new friend with a little boy. As you can see the camera is on my back, so my friend took some pictures. I thought about how I should take a photo, but then I just wanted to sit with him on my lap. He pressed his little body so tight up against mine. He didn't to let go of me. Saying goodbye was hard. Thanks for taking the picture Lindsey.

I am currently working on a video of my trip. I hope to have it done by the time I go home and will post it on the blog. I can't wait to show you all the people I know. I don't want to just post pictures and let you figure them out. I want to introduce you to the people I love in Lesotho.

love from Lesotho

Thursday, June 24, 2010

the other place

Yesterday my friends and I went to another orphanage in Lesotho. I had been there in October and told myself I never wanted to go back. My friends heard the stories and wanted to see the difference with their own eyes.

There had been a lot of changes since October, but it still was heart breaking. The dirty baby room was added on to to create more sleeping areas, so that was great and a new play area had also been added.

It is hard for me to share about some of the things we saw and some of the children we touched, during our 2 hour stay. BG is so blessed by a great facility and caring staff, but my heart goes out to the approximate 100 children that are living at the other place.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

happy father's day

Happy Father's Day, Dad!!!

Thank you for always influencing with the many mission trips you have gone on. Thank you for always loving me and teaching me about my Heavenly Father!!!

I hope you have a great day doing whatever you want.

love you!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

the tongue

My friends, I need to confess to you the sin of my heart. I have allowed my tongue to rule my life. It's loud lies that I have believed, have shouted over the truth God wanted to see and hear. Psalm 64:3-4 says, "They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent man; they shoot at him suddenly without fear." My tongue became a weapon.

I want to apologize to anyone who I talked negatively about, ruined your reputation or caused others to look at you differently because of the words I have said. The words I spoke should not have been directed toward any of you. I am eternally sorry for causing anyone to stumble because my tongue became my sword. The words I spoke were done out of my own insecurities. I can not take the words back, I really wish I could. I wish I could buy the biggest billboard along the busiest road and proclaim the truths that God knows to everyone about those I have ever spoken wrongly about. I apologize to everyone, if the word that came out of my mouth cut you down in anyway, or if I allowed the words of others to influence my words.

James 3:5-6 says, "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."

Psalm 59:12 says, "For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught up in their pride."

I have allowed the words of my tongue to take over every part of my body. I have been very critical of people and have spoken wrongly about them, only to make myself feel better. I am sorry, that the words of my mouth did not bring unity to the body of Christ.

Every moment, I now am surrendering the desires of my tongue. I don't want it to rule over the rest of my body. Many times throughout the day I find my self praying...

Psalm 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and Redeemer."

Psalm 34:13, "Keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from speaking lies."

Psalm 35:28, "My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long."

Psalm 71:24, "My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long."

Psalm 15:2-4, "He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truths from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong, and casts no slur on his fellow man, who despises the vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath, even when it hurts,"

Friends. I am very sorry that Satan used my tongue to hold anyone back from living as God intended us to live. I am sorry that my desires became priority over what God wanted. I pray that I can be faithful with what the Lord has given me and I can speak encouraging words to and about everyone. I pray that in the moments when my flesh over powers my tongue, God's grace and mercy will shower over me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

the path

This weekend, my 5 roommates and I as well as my friend Edward went on a Pony Trek through the mountains of Malealea. It was breath taking. I don't think any picture can match what my eyes saw as I rode on the back of a horse for 3 hours through some of God's creation.

The ride itself was a lot of fun, and taught me a huge lesson in trust. The last week I was struggling. My attitude wasn't that great and I was questioning a lot of things that I suppose to be enjoying. I just hit a wall. I was surrounded by some of the most beautiful kids on earth and all I could think about was how some of them will never know what a family is. My heart broke everyday as I saw them "just being kids" but then having to go to bed without the feeling of knowing, your bed is your bed. I was looking forward to the trek, because it was a little getaway from the heart break of being surrounded by children without families.

The ride was amazing. There were points when it was grass and my horse and I could run. There were points when it was steep hills and I could do was leave back or forward and trust that my horse knew what he was doing. At some points my horse had to step down 2 or 3 feet on the side of the mountain and I couldn't see where he was going. I had to trust, that I wasn't going to fall off and roll down the cliff. At one point I couldn't see anywhere my horse was stepping, because we were going straight down. At that point I just had to trust.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your lath straight."

That verse sums up my pony trek and my time at BG. I had to trust my horse and know he would get me to where we were going. Most of the ride we were in the group, riding along enjoying the mountains, but then my horse decided that he needed to lead, so he ran past 2 others horse and our guide and there was no stopping him. My guide just kept telling me don't worry he knows where he is going. At that point I had to trust the horse, because I had no idea where he was going and the group was far behind us.

In life, we are faced with times when we don't know where we are going. We don't know what adventure God has in store for us, but we need to trust Him, because He knows where he is going. I need to trust Him that these precious children will know what a family is and for the time being I need to trust Him and know I am their family. God has blessed me with 4 months to just seek Him and serve. Each day He is giving me more and more glimpses of Him and more and more moments to reflect Him to who I meet.

I pray that we all can trust God enough that even though we can't see the next step, we can enjoy the scenery. I pray we can just let go of our plans and know that He knows the way.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my amazing mom!! (I know this is a few days early, but I will be gone on a weekend adventure, and won't be able to post on Sunday). If anyone sees my mom this weekend, please give her a BIG birthday hug from me.

I pray you have a great day mom, just relaxing and enjoying life. God blessed me so much when He gave me you!!! Thank you for letting me follow God's call to serve Him wherever He leads.

I love you!!!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

welcome to the Lindseays!!

Two of my friends are here from Haven. It has been fun to have some familiar faces around. They will be here until July 2, so I am looking forward to the many adventures we will have.


Some of you have been curious about my hair. For those of you who don't know, I love to get haircuts. I usually get one every 4 weeks. I love my "therapy time" with Kelli. She knows exactly what to do, to make my hair look good. Well I have gone 8 weeks now without a haircut. It hasn't been easy. It is so long!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm Here!!

I know...I know. I haven't blogged in awhile. If I was home right now, my neighbor would know the exact numbers of days from my last and scold me for not updating. I am sorry.

The truth is things are great in Africa. It is hard to describe my everyday activities, because they change so much. Two of my friends from church are here right now, which is SOOOO great. It is so nice to have a little piece of home here, but I also think it is showing me a little bit of the "culture shock" that will happen when I get home. They have already told me how different I am from the way I was before. God has changed me while being here. It is so freeing to see the layers of the old me being removed and the new me shining through. I praise Him for His faithfulness.

There are a few volunteers who are leaving this week. It is funny to hear them talk about the things they are going to do when they get home. One is going to eat at In & Out on his way home from the airport. Another is going to find the closet store and get some chips and salsa (there are none in is painful.) I have been thinking about what I want when I get home. It is funny there are no material items that I want. I just want to be with people. I want to walk off the plane and give my mom and dad and BIG hug. I want to take my 5 nephews and nieces to the zoo. I want to sit around a bonfire with people and talk. I want to share Cherry Slushies with a friend. I want to sit in a lawn chair for a whole day, only getting up to move with the sun.

I have learned a lot on Africa. One of the biggest things is that people matter. I didn't invest enough time in people before this. I pray I will now. I pray God will give me opportunities to just sit with people and listen. I don't need to talk, because I want to get to people. I don't need to get to know me. God showed me, myself during the past 2 months.

It is amazing the changes that have happened in the past 2 months. What will the next 2 months bring? I don't know, but I do know I just want to take in as much of Africa and it's people as I can.

Thank you for your love and encouragement. I couldn't do this without you!!