Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One Year Anniversary

I wrote this entry yesterday but wasn't able to post it because I didn't have Internet...

August is my one year anniversary with Music For Life and the African Children's Choir. I celebrated by getting a manicure and pedicure with Laura and Lindsey (for the first time ever!) One year ago today I stepped onto a plane and headed to North Carolina to spend a few weeks training with Choir 31 before heading to Uganda to meet the children who would soon become my life for the next year. Since that day I have experienced enough life to fill five years, it seems. I've learned about myself, I've learned about relationships, I've learned about teamwork, I've learned about parenting, I've learned about how people live and think, I've learned about culture, I've learned about many States that I knew next to nothing about, I've learned about God and his heart for the poor and oppressed. The last 365 days have been filled with joyful moments, sad goodbye's, difficult challenges, victories, lessons learned, dances of joy, and tears of hardship. I don't have any regrets and I would do it all over again.
A few random things I have done this year:
-eaten fried alligator in New Orleans
-ridden an elevator in a home in Mississippi
-spoken from stage to thousands of people
-met Archbishop Desmond TuTu
-visited with friends all over the country
-rafted the Nile River in Uganda
-showered outside overlooking the Nile River
-walked the Vegas strip with 26 African Children
-ran around downtown London taking pictures
-danced like a fool in front of complete strangers
-driven an army truck from the 1950's
-done push ups in the airport
-climbed inside a B52 bomber at Barksdale Airforce Base
-ridden in a hummer limo full of African children to a rodeo
-drank too much Starbucks
-had surgery
-sunbathed in the middle of winter on the gulf of Mexico
-been interviewed live on the radio
-seen the marching ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis
Just to name a few things...and it's not even the end. We have several months left of tour and as I have gotten tired God has given me a second wind and is allowing me to still enjoy the small moments that make life so precious and beautiful. As I look forward to the future God continues to narrow my ministry dreams and goals. As I have seen and begun to understand more fully God's heart for the poor and oppressed, those marginalized by societies, my heart has begun to yearn for a chance to help. Many thoughts have been jumbling around in my head this year about how I can be involved in being Jesus' hands and feet and his voice to those who are overlooked. I feel more and more compelled to reach out and bridge the gap between cultures. I want to encourage and inspire Americans to see how wealthy we are and to get off the couch, put down the Wii and get INVOLVED. While we spend dozens of hours being entertained in front of the television each week, young girls are being forced into prostitution, boys are being forced to fight for rebel causes, children are starving, families are falling apart. I know that the problems in this world and the injustice can seem overwhelming and people don't know where to start or don't think whatever small thing they can do will really make a difference, but it does. I picked up a book the other day called Hope Lives (A Journey of Restoration) by Amber Van Schooneveld. It's a 5 week study and takes people through the exact process that I have been thinking about in my head. I don't want to see people guilted into giving money to the poor. I want to see people examine their hearts, examine God's heart, and come to a point where they really see who they are in Christ and what their responsibility is as a believer. Showing compassion and helping others is what the body of Christ is all about! I want to inspire. I want to encourage. I want to show people how exciting it is to act as a real body of believers, helping each other and glorifying God in the process. I love the point made by Amber in Hope Lives. She says, “It's not that God loves the poor any more than he loves me or anyone else in America-he's not a reverse social snob.” God loves everyone equally, but there is a special place in his heart for those who are being treated unjustly, as shown throughout his word. I don't know what this means for my future...but I'm excited to find out :) Well..that's the short version of the thoughts rolling around in my head. I have wanted to share for quite some time, so you can be praying with me about all of this and how God might lead me after tour. Thanks for listening and praying so faithfully. I am blessed to know God has given me such an amazing team/family of supporters-people who believe in me and my vision. May the Lord bless you abundantly.
In Christ,

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Happy Anniversary! I pray that God's wisdom would be abundant for the next few months as you plan life AFTER tour! Love you.