Simple things though.. seems like I keep catching up with them when I didn’t know they were so far beyond me. Like the things your mom tells you when you’re three. Be gentle (gracious). Don’t complain –be thankful. Or how about, possibly, the most basic thing: Be still and know that I am God.
Every time I learn them all over again I feel more grown up.
And I’m finding.. it’s actually not possible to do those simple things sincerely, fully, without reservation and for nothing in return without the spirit of God.
This month, or at least by the end of this character-shaping month, I’m thankful that I am in Africa. I’m thankful for my team. Thankful for what has been done here and for the work of transition that is taking place now as our team looks toward the future of this mission. I’m thankful that I’m involved and for everyone back home who supports me to be here.
Even thankful that I had malaria and it put me out of commission for about 2 weeks. Those two weeks challenged some misapplied stubbornness in me. It also highlighted some friendships that shone brightly through the fog of migraines, fatigue, weakness and.. a lot of other things, because they cared for me selflessly. (I admittedly was difficult. Sorry y’all.)
I’m also actually thankful that my LG phone mysteriously and irrevocably died this week and I have therefore been converted to an iPhone user out of necessity (thanks mom for the backup!).
July was a blur (somewhere in the midst of which I turned 28). I came back from my visit to the states and had a lot of office work to catch up on, but my jet lag transitioned seamlessly into my malarial warfare, so I didn’t exactly hit the ground running. Thus, August has been catch-up and catch-a-vision month.
I’ve been reading some this month about different people who have been helpful economically through supporting small entrepreneurial ventures in Africa. I really am eagerly searching for wisdom about how to help my friend who started her boutique. As much as we meet together and discuss how to make this work, I can’t help but be more and more aware of my lack of wisdom in this situation. It both sobers me and inspires me that maybe I can get involved in something like this for the long haul.
I was inspired by a national youth conference that took place a few weeks back. Looking out over this sea of 4,000 Togolese young people gathering together to listen to sermon after sermon.. I could recognize that there is passion and interest about the things of God in the young people here. This is the future of Togo, n’est-ce pas?
Kenz started a bible study with high school girls on Tuesdays. We meet in town on a friend’s front porch. I’ve been able to get to know them so much more by going with her. Discovering the people behind culture barriers ..wow, please make the effort to do this sometime in your life. It will bless your socks off, as my friend Stephanie would say.
I hope that moving forward into September I will be able to master some simple impossible things. Maybe the way that God has engaged me this month will shape me into something that represents his love and honor to my co-workers and friends, the people I meet along the path and the girls that come hang out at my apartment.
As the pastor put it this morning.. (a direct translation for some added humor) We are all condemned to live together, so let’s do so in a way that glorifies God.