Monday, April 27, 2015

Not Done!

I will be honest, the past month I have not been in a great place. I love what I do. I love who I am surrounded by, but I feel as though I have not been freely living. I struggle with things around me that should be different. I struggle with not feeling a part of a church in Lesotho. It is so hard. I feel that even though I am happy, I have not been living joyful. There is a huge difference in that.

This weekend I was able to led an IF:Gathering in Lesotho. For those of you who do not know, IF is an organization that gathers, equips and unleashes women for God's purposes. There were 18 missionary women who came both Friday and Saturday. It was a great time of worship, conversation and listening to God's word spoken through the obedient speakers that we watched via the videos of the February Gathering that happened in the States.

The theme of the weekend was the life of Joshua. 12 men were sent out and only 2 completely opened their hands and hearts to God's plan. The question that I kept asking myself is "Am I one of the 2 or one of the 10?" I want to be bold for God. I want to be courageous, but all too often I feel as though I am just doing the minimum requirements and not fully living into the promises that He has given me. There are over 130 promises in the Bible that are written for each of us. Why are we not claiming them over our lives and the lives of those that we see everyday? The apostle Paul says that every promise for us is "yes and amen." So why am I not doing this?

I think a big part is exhaustion. I am just plan tired. Every where I look there are needs and this is not only in Lesotho, but in North American as well. The other day I was doing dishes and looking out the window. The community kids were gathering like they always do and I waved and said hi. Then their normal conversation started. "Ausi Christina, give me the sweets." "Ausi Christina, give me the money." "Ausi Christina, give me the paper." Most of the time I can smile and ignore the requests they have, but that day I needed to walk away. I couldn't hear the requests, because I had nothing to give. (Just so you know I rarely do give them anything.) Then I thought of Christ. Does He want to walk away from us when our prayers to him sound like the community children's conversation. "Lord give me..."

After spending time with other daughters of the KING this weekend I decided that I need to let go of the excuse of being tired and continue to bring His promises to those around me. Yes there are needs all over and it is hard to decide which ones to act on, but we can't give up. We need to act. As one of the speakers this weekend said, "As long as you have a beat in your chest you are not done!" Yes, there will be days when you are tired, but don't allow it to overtake the task at hand. Be bold and courageous, because people's eternity are depending on your steps of faith.

I don't want to walk away from the need. I want to serve! I don't want to ignore, I want to encourage! I don't want to close my eyes and ears to those around me, because Christ doesn't do that for me. May we all see who is around us and reach out to them. Surprise someone with a meal and conversation. Gather your kids and go and serve someone be cleaning up their yard or windows. it doesn't take a lot to bring hope to those that need it. But is also doesn't take a lot to ignore the hope that people need and do nothing at all. Don't let your excuses, hinder the love you can show!

For give me Father for not claiming your promises and serving those around me, because I didn't claim your strength.

My heart is beating therefore, I must do something!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Paseka e Monate

Paseka e Monate (Happy Easter)

The tomb is empty!!!
We have hope!
We can celebrate because the Lord is RISEN!!

Easter is a great time. For those who are grieving, they know that because of Easter they can grieve with hope. For those who are celebrating, it gives their joy purpose. No matter how you look at it, Easter brings hope.

As in year's past, here at Beautiful Gate, we like to celebrate at Easter and make sure the children know that Easter is not just a normal day. This year was extra special because a group of children in Michigan gifted us with some funds to make our Easter party very nice. We were able to do our traditional events like having the children paint easter eggs on Thursday and then on Easter day we had a hunt for them. Because of the children's funds they raised we were able to have 2 jumping castles or bouncy houses for the children and staff. What a joy it was to see the children's faces as the castles were being inflated. The second we said they were ready all the children ran and jumped in them. Of course there were some who were pretty scared but as the day went on their fear turned into joy. At one point in time one of the children decided to take a nap in the castle. Even though there were others jumping around him he just slept. I also loved watching the big kids aka our staff get in on all the fun. They laughed so hard and tried to make each other fall over. There were many points through out the day I wasn't sure who was having more fun the children or the staff. That didn't matter though, because joy was everywhere. For lunch on Saturday we also treated the children to hotdogs, nik naks (cheese curls) and oranges. To me it felt like an elementary school field day. The children were so excited all day.

Sunday afternoon, we shared the Easter story with the children. I love doing this every year. We read from the Jesus StoryBook Bible (which is amazing!). I love having a lap full of kids and telling them all how much God loves them. Of course there are a lot of restless children, because they know that after the story is read we have our Easter egg/candy hunt. But through all the squirms, the truth is shared that even though they children live in an orphanage, they are not Fatherless.

I need to share a fun story from Saturday with you all. In the afternoon while everyone was in the jumping castles, it started to rain. We didn't want the kids on the castles because electricity and water do not mix well together. :) So in a matter of seconds we were running trying to get the children off the castles, get the castles deflated and then get the children to their houses. While this was going on one of the 2 year old boys started picking up the shoes and looking for all the other children in his house. He couldn't find one of the children in his house and even though we kept telling him that this child was already at home, he kept yelling out his name and refusing to go home. So I picked him up, with his arms full of shoes and carried him home to show him. When he saw the other child in bed sleeping, he relaxed. This little boy was being a big brother. He needed to make sure all the children that are in his house were safe before he went home. There are moments at BG where I sit and wonder what it would be like to be one of these children. I wonder what goes through their minds as they live here and see other children come and go. Saturday my heart was opened up to the fact that these children see each other as family. They help each other by carrying the missing shoes on the play ground back home. In the frantic time of trying to get out of the rain, they protect each other by making sure everyone gets home. May we all learn from the children here and serve those in our lives as though they are our family. May we help each other and protect each other. May we look to those around us as siblings rather than strangers. May we,like the children in Michigan desire to sacrifice something so that others can have joy. When we do this, God smiles. When we do this, God's plan of unity within His body forms. When we do this, we embrace the story at the cross, not because it comes from the Bible, but because it radiates out of our hearts.

May we not ignore the cross, but honor it by simply picking up each other's shoes and making sure everyone gets home safe.