Tuesday, August 30, 2011

i must decrease while He must increase

I thought today I would share a little story with you. This is something that happened a while back but that I never got to share with you all.

One night we were sitting outside in the dark, as usual since we don’t have electricity. There was a single lamp on the ground to provide some light as we ate our rice dinner. Suddenly my host mom got up and said something in Senoufo, she grabbed the lamp and started to walk toward her garden. For a little while the lamp lit her body up too but quickly she disappeared and it looked like the lamp was just floating.

Immediately, I thought this is what I want my life to look like. Jesus is the Light. I want to carry the Light into the darkness, but I don’t want it to be me that is seen. I want to be like my host mom who just disappeared and all that was seen was the light. I want to become less so that Jesus can become more. That all the glory would be for Him alone and that His Kingdom would grow. May God bless you this last day of August.

Please be praying, as today is the holiday for Ramadan. Millions of Muslims in Cote d’Ivoire are lost in darkness and celebrating without knowing real joy that can only be found in Jesus Christ. That the Light might shine through their darkness.

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.
There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
Proverbs 17 & 18

The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.
John 3:29-31

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August Rush

I really think there must be less time in a day over here in Cote d’Ivoire because time is just flying. It has been over a month since I have written you and I am so sorry. You know when it gets to the point where there is just too much to tell and putting it off just seems easier. But today I woke up in my tiny bed with my mosquito net covering me and decided I would get ready and ride my bike to the church so I could write you. Mind you there were very menacing clouds and I arrived just before the rain.

So here I am in the baby blue library at my church listening to the rain and wondering what I can share with you. Well July was pretty busy. I was working at Don Orion [the center for the handicapped kids] each Monday and Wednesday morning. Those little kids fill me up and remind me that kids are kids no matter where I go. They bring me so much joy. They have vacation the whole month of August so I will continue my work there starting in September.

I also had the opportunity to visit the high school near my house and teach some English classes. I would just introduce myself and let them ask me questions about my life and the US. They LOVE Americans. This particular high school is the biggest in Korhogo. Whenever I would go and see all the students [over a thousand] I would feel such sadness knowing that so many of them do not know the Savior. My prayer in July was that God would use me to tell someone about God. I felt so full of the Gospel that I just wanted to spill out but I knew that I had to wait for the Holy Spirits leading. Waiting is frustrating! On Friday, July 15th I shared this desire to share my faith and the heaviness of heart I feel at the High School with my team here. Then Tuesday, July 19th my prayer was answered! One of the teachers that I work with at the school had been thinking about my life decisions the night before and he had some questions. Lucky for me, my life is so entwined with Jesus and the Gospel that it naturally came out as I answered his questions. He is a nominal muslim and a father of six. He has been working at the high school since 1990. Be praying for Mr. Troure to see the truth and for more opportunities to show him the difference of a life lived for Christ.

July 25th at 2pm Taylor Lindblom arrived at the Abidjan airport. The 6 hour bus ride down to Abidjan that day felt so long! He was here in Cote d’Ivoire for three weeks. It was so cool to show my life here to someone from back home. He even got to stay with me at my house in Korhogo one night and live without running water and electricity. Haha it made me realize how normal this strange life has become. We spent the first couple days he was here at the beach down south. It was the first time I saw the ocean in nine months…and it was a joyous reunion. Then we headed up to Bouake for a week long seminar. We got to see the largest Basilica in the world which is right here in our capital city of Yamoussoukro. The final week of Taylor’s visit we went up to Korhogo which I consider my home town. We had a great week and Taylor got the full experience including getting sick with amoebas. It was really hard to say goodbye to him on Monday but I am so thankful that he got to come.

Prayer Requests:
-Small groups for the youth here have been hard to organize but there is one group of girls meeting each week and seem to be great! Pray for the other 12 groups to take advantage of this opportunity to grow deeper in their faith in this way.
-Guidance in how to use my last two months here in Cote d’Ivoire and which relationships to focus on.
-The transition to thinking about going home is starting. Prayer for strength and adaptability in coming back to the States. [I had a little bit of culture shock just going to Abidjan because they actually have high ways there!]
-Tricia and Kelly-the newest addition to Journey Corps. Pray for their adjustment to life here.

Love you so so soooo much!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33