Tonight I got a wild hair and decided I wanted to paint my nails. I never want to paint my nails. So upon looking for some nail polish I found that the only color I had was bright pink(..where did this even come from?) that shimmers in the light. It wasn't my first pick but seeing as how it was my only option I did the deed. My nails are now epileptic-seizure-warning pink. I don't even like pink. I promise that's not the end all of this blog. I just had to start typing to get my brain moving. So here I am. Home. Beautiful California. My sinuses has been climate-effed thanks to all the traveling but it really is and has been worth it. From California to Hawaii to Germany to South Africa to Mozambique and back again. How that for a DTS's tale(i'm wondering how many people will get, let alone, appreciate that..)? It's been an adventure to say the least, with beautiful people and friendships along the way, not to mention valuable lessons and heart-stories.
The whole thing started in South Africa where we worked in a township called Masiphumelele. Every day we would walk from our home to the township where we would split up into different groups that would go different places. It was incredible to experience this new culture and the differences from my own. The people are all open and usually friendly. They really give new meaning to the saying 'Carpe Diem". I'd never before seen a culture that applied Seizing the Day to relationships. Relationship is everything to them - so much so that putting off work or where you were going for thirty minutes to stop and chat with a friend on the street would not be unheard of...infact it's normal! During out short stint of time there we saw beautiful things happen and relationships flourish. We saw a man come to know Jesus and begin a relationship with him, then start to disciple his friends. The change was so evident in him that people on the street were stopping him and asking what was going on with him because before they only knew him as the drunk who wandered around and raged. We saw a young mother learn to dream and become interested in this Jesus that would send all of these people to sit with her and wash clothes. We saw a witch doctor give up the darkness that she felt trapped in and find light in Jesus. We saw a woman with AIDS, tuberculosis and who was crippled walk. We saw children smile. We saw families grow, and we saw Jesus glorified.
The came Mozambique. Adventure. Adventure, Adventure. Living situations. Outreaches. Bus trips. Everything. Everything was an Adventure. The Lord did miraculous things in our midst both in our hearts and before our eyes. We were reminded that things don't always look like we think they might and came to the conclusion that God really likes working in the natural - after all.. he created it. I believe that him healing the 3 year old, malnourished, dying baby girl over the seven weeks we were there was and is just as powerful, beautiful and exciting as the mass amounts of healing that took place instantly and supernaturally during the outreaches. Just as in Masi God was on the move. We saw the multiplication of food. We saw healings in all sorts of creative ways. We saw incredible relationships forged and we left sad to go, but with an impartation of Joy in our hands.
As is with life, things were hard. There was so much going on that we often found ourselves frustrated or home sick. I want to be real when it comes to these things because regardless of what people think mission work is [still] life. Walking with Jesus is Life. And sometimes Life is messy. Sometimes relationships are messy. But that's where grace and perseverance comes in. We're family and family fights through things together. Family supports each other and helps push each other forward toward the goal and that's exactly what happened. Through thick and thin our team fought it out with one another. We persevered through brokenness, Rejoiced in the breakthrough and always pointed each other toward the giver and sustainer of life because when the answers escaped us they never escaped Him.
So here I am. Home. Beautiful California. Finding myself with all these questions. All these questions that I don't have the answers for. But if there is one thing I have learned over the last six months it's that it's not up to me to answer them. All I have to do is seek his face, sit at his feet and do the possible and he will take care of the rest. I love knowing he speaks to me personally. I love knowing he gets me and I love knowing that he loves to be intimate with my heart. I love knowing I don't have to strive. and I love knowing that I may not have all the answers but I know who does. and not only do I know that he knows but I know Him personally. know know know know know know know know. KNOW.
Man. The more you type that word the weirder it looks and the more ridiculous the spelling seems.
The answer is I don't know the answer. And I'm OK with that.
Cheers and a huge shout out to you who pushed through and attained what He had for you in the far reaches of the world: Matt, Brycen & Ron - Kath, Hayley, Amaris, Teresa, Gabby & Becci. You guys will always be family. I'll laugh, cry, sing and dance with you any day.