Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mossel Bay

Hello from Mossel Bay, South Africa! It's hard to believe that our first week of outreach is almost done already.
Overall the first week went really well. We left Jeffrey's Bay on Friday morning, and after a few car problems, arrived here around 3.
We already had to lead a youth service that night. Even though we didn't feel prepared at all to start ministry
after driving all day, the service went really well. We performed the skit that we used for a fundraiser a few
weeks ago and that was very powerful for the community there. At the end of the night around 20 or 30 people gave their
lives to Christ. It was so great just to be there to pray for people and to hug them and encourage them. This morning we led the assembly at a school
in the community which was also fun.

For most of our outreach our team is splitting up and living with host families. It has been so nice to have my own bed and a
good mattress! I think my back has new curves in it from the mattress I used for the first 3 months of the DTS so I am sleeping so
good here on a normal bed. The people of South Africa are so welcoming and open to let people stay in their houses. It is so great.
Everytime we go anywhere they want to make food for us and in this culture it is impolite to say no, even if you don't like the food or
are full, so I have been so full since we first got here on Friday. One thing that I did find out from living in this house is that I am
still allergic to cats! I am very thankful for allergy pills! I don't know how I would make it through the days without them.

That is about all that has happened so far! Thanks for checking! I will update again when I can!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Outreach Time!

Tomorrow is the day! We are leaving tomorrow morning for our first outreach destination which is Mossel Bay, South Africa. Already tomorrow night we are leading a youth service for a church in the community there so that should be good. Here is our plan for outreach...

Mossel Bay Sept 18-24
Paarl Sept 25-Oct 4
Cape Town- Oct 5-16
Mossel Bay- Oct 17-23
George- Oct 24
Jbay- Nations to Nations Oct 25-Oct 30
East Londen- Oct 31-Nov 4
Port Shepstone Nov 5- Nov11
Pretori and JHB- Nov 12
Namabia Nov 13-Dec 2
JHB Dec 3-Dec 5
Jbay Dec 6-9
Graduation December 10

Of course, this is Africa so it will most likely change sometime but I will try to keep you updated. I don't have to much time to use the internet right now because I have a lot of packing to do tonight but I will try to keep you updated as much as I can through outreach! ALSO! thank you SO much to everyone who helped out with the applebees fundraiser. I appreciate it more than you will ever know!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last week in Jeffreys

Hello one last time before we leave for outreach!
This week has been a crazy week. We had to move out of the dorms on Thursday because the students from the september DTS are coming. We all moved to a house down the road and that has been a interesting experience so far. All of us girls are sharing one room and one bathroom so that is very crazy in the mornings. This weekend was our weekend off before outreach. It was a lot of fun and nice to relax. On Saturday we went to Port Elizabeth which is about a hour away and went to a huge mall there and walked around and then we went to the lion park which was awesome. I finally felt like I was in Africa for this first time when we saw all the animals.
We are leaving Friday morning for outreach. Our first destination is Mossel Bay which is about 6 hours away I think. We have a lot of packing and preparing to do before then so pray for strength for us. Also a lot of our team has not been feeling very well lately. I think we have some kind of stomach virus so you can pray for that too.
I'm not sure when I will have internet again but I will try to update soon! Thanks for checking!

oh yeah.. this wednesday is the fundraiser at applebees! just a reminder :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Applebees Fundraiser

On Wednesday, September 16 there is one last fundraiser happening for my outreach fund at Applebees in Grandville. If you print off the thing above and bring it in, 20% of your bill will go to help me with the money that I need to raise to go to Nambia. Thanks again for all of your help and support. I appreciate it more than you will ever know!

ps.. It will probably work best to save the picture to your computer and put it in a new document and print it from there :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Plumbline Week

Since we first arrived in Africa I knew that plumbline week would be a very important and emotional week. The groups before us carved into the bunk beds and wrote all over the mirrors things like "pray for plumbline week" and "plumbline will change your life" so right away we knew that it was going to be a good week. The idea of a plumbline comes from Amos 7:7.. "then the Lord said, ' Look I am setting a plumb line among my people."Builders use plumb lines to make sure that walls weren't out of line or not in balance and that they were standing up straight and strong.

Last week was a week devoted to looking back into our pasts and to receive healing for the things that we have done or things that were done to us. At the beginning of the week they compared this week to a garden. When we first see a weed in the garden we can just rake over it and make it presentable. If we ignore it soon the whole garden will be full of weeds. It is important to pull out the whole weed at the root. Everybody has a past and everybody sins. A lot of times our past keeps us from truly experiencing God.

Every night we had ministry time where each person from our team took a turn going up in front of the class and telling their story. It was a little overwhelming but so powerful! We heard some pretty amazing stories this week about where people have been and where God brought them. Our group grew so much closer during plumbline week because now we have a better understanding of each other and why the act the way that they do. It was so great to have time just to be open and broken with each other and not to be worried about judgment from others.

Everybody has mistakes and hurt from the past. What makes one persons sin worse than another persons? We can't compare stories because every person has been through things but we always try to hide our struggles and pain. This week it was such a good example of what the body of Christ should be like. We all took turns just being open and sharing our hearts and there was no judgment but instead there was so much support and encouragement. On the last day all the girls sat up in the front together and there was so much love and support there.

We can't keep trying to hide the weeds forever. We need to need to be open and willing to change these things or we will never truly know God. We need to live lives that are transparent. We need to know that we have friends and other people who are willing to catch us when we fall and encourage us to keep on going. I learned a lot about being humble this week. We need to be open and broken with each other!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
-2 Corinthians 5:17