Saturday, July 21, 2012

When ANTS in the Sugar Tops Off Your Morning...

You know when you get up and things just start feeling "off"?

Photo Credit: HAC Staff
And then...

And then...

And then you're really, really late, and it's beyond your control... (Ahem, yep, I'm talking about myself here, and yes, there WERE ants in the sugar - lots of them!!!)

It's like that children's book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

What do you do?!

Sometimes ya just gotta realize that the day will keep on coming,

And ya gotta just keep on going (with a few, "Oh, my!" "Really?!" and a few exclamation points thrown in!).

And maybe the enemy has something out for ya too - he has it easy with your taxed and overwhelmed attitude.

But then your friend starts praying,

You check your "-tude" in the mirror (cuz it's an ugly face staring back at you),

And the sun begins to shine (literally, this is happening as I speak, err write - cold, dreary rain has turned into sunshine peeking in the doorway).

So really, how do you respond when your day turns upside down? 
How do you turn (you or your day) right side up again?

Monday, July 16, 2012

What Makes Your Day?

8 heads in a car (1 is hiding)! Transit from Hope Africa that day!
Photo Credit: HAC Staff
I met with small groups of my Life Skills and Computer Training graduates the other day. These groups are so that we Life Skills/Hope Africa staff can touch base with our graduates (former students) to see how the job hunt is going, to answer any questions they may have, and to see how they are doing in their personal lives.

Further discipleship takes place.

Encouragement is the word of the day (and my heart for them in this place in their lives).

In a country where there is 40% plus unemployment, my students find looking for a job and entering the application process - yet again - discouraging and frustrating.

But I hope we at Bridge for Hope can help to Equip them.

We also hope to bridge the gap between our unemployed graduates and companies with new job opportunities. The good news is some companies are coming to us for job applicants!

As we went around the room, my students shared where they are at, what they have applied to, what they are waiting for, and WHAT THEY HOPE FOR - in regards to the kind of job they dream of and/or what they would like to study at college/university.

I ask, "What is your goal?" "What steps are you taking to reach that goal?"

As they open their mouths and their hearts, I 'encourage' them to ENCOURAGE each other. "Can you see 'so and so' being a... or doing that... ?" And students' heads nod. "Yeah," "definitely" are the responses.

A large smile - sometimes a shy smile and a nervous giggle also - appear on the sharer's face.
And at the end of the day, I couldn't help but beam my large smile because my small groups of students make my day!

And I thank God for it!
So I'd love to hear from you! What makes your day? What puts a smile on your face when you look back at your day?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

6 Months in South Africa! R.I.P. Worry?! Remember. & Peace.

My "Hi, Thank You, Miss You" face as I send this post!

Part 1 - REMEMBER. 


I spent a week in Bible class with my students.


 I was called to "Remember" 

What God was doing from the beginning of time 

Through Israel's history

To the promise of an Eternal King and Kingdom.

Jesus Christ. The Fulfillment. The Promise. Of Redemption. For A Whole Earth.

To remember - God created mankind for Relationship and for Worship -

And since that separation

He has Pursued ME - To Restore - ME to Him

Because HE LOVES ME.

- for Relationship and Worship! 

May my students open more and more to HIM WHO PURSUES and LOVES THEM! 
 To see their Need. To understand His Grace. And to accept His Gift.

Part 2 - PEACE.

You know? My Worry and stress post?
No, I'm not all better - it seldom works that way.

But thank you who shared by blog and e-mail with encouragement, prayers, and your journey.

It means a lot to remember we struggle - maybe with different things - but side by side, with prayer and praise.

My circumstances did change, and I was in a safe place by the weekend! The weeks of waiting and hyperventilating (not literally - I don't think) were over.   

I felt a huge breath of relief almost immediately. 


But most times circumstances don't just change -

And still I need to learn. "DON'T WORRY!" Remember He WHO is in control - Faith.
One thing I've learned - is that writing can help me to process and pray and gain perspective - and maybe God sheds light in times like these. 

As I REMEMBER - What God has done and is doing for me. 
I am thankful.

And I sincerely THANK YOU for walking beside me these 6 months (and more-before) - YES, 6 MONTHS I've been back in South Africa!

I have SO SO Much to be thankful for:

  • Completed 4 Life and Job Skills Courses with many students (with names that are getting easier for me to pronounce)!
    • Some students know Jesus!
    • Others have jobs!
    • All have training!
    • And All have heard about Jesus!
  • Have a Home (I call it, "Sanctuary" - being the introvert needing recuperating space) - a secure apartment + 2 flatmates to share with (praying for a final one),
    • with a bed, a frig, 
    • futon (free), 
    • table and chairs and stools (borrowing from kind people)...

I still have a few needs and desires and lots of growing to do, BUT I am thankful.

Today I Remember and Rest in Peace. Sounds like something died, doesn't it?! 

Well then, R. I. P. Worry.