Saturday, September 24, 2011

Reflections on the Year

As my time here in Cote d'Ivoire is ending (October 31st I will be back in the USA) I wanted to write out some of the things I have learned During my time here.

This year my vision for my life has been sharpened and more defined. One of the Journey Corps leaders (Phil Bjorkland) challenged me to write a vision statement. He said that having a vision statement can help in making decisions. If something doesn’t fit within my vision statement then I probably shouldn’t do it or I need to pray about whether God has a different vision for me.

My Vision Statement:
To aide in the growth of the church: both in number (evangelism) and in depth (discipleship).

This year I was able to sit in on some theology classes taught to the wives of the Ivoirien Bible Students. All the Bible Students are men so the school requires their wives to take a little theology/Bible in the afternoons as well as alphabetization in French and the local language. I just love learning more about the Bible and helping others to understand it too. I would love to one day teach and especially to women overseas. This is one way that this year has helped to define my vision.

Just two nights ago, the little girl at my house was telling me about a scary movie that she had seen in the village a while back. It was something about a sorcerer that was killing people. The other little girl at my house was getting scared and didn’t want to hear about it anymore. I realized that what they both needed was to hear truth.

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

“The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.” Isaiah 8:13

So I enlisted my host sister who is sixteen to tell the story of Moses and the ten plagues. Since my French isn’t good enough to summarize the story and it would not be interesting for us to read it to the ten year olds, I told her that she was going to retell it. At first she didn’t want to and even said she couldn’t, that I should tell the story. Well after a little persuading she conceded but said she needed some time to write some notes. While she was doing that I told the story of Moses birth and some of the events leading up to the ten plagues. But I love making it fun, because the Bible is way too interesting and life changing not to be fun too! So I got out some of my cherished Sour Patch Kids to give as a prize if they answered my comprehension questions right. Mischaelle (my host sister) did a great job telling the story. At the end she ask “qui est fort?” (who is strong or powerful?) and the two girls answered in unison “Dieu est fort!!!” (God is strong!). As soon as we finished the same girl that was recounting the story of the sorcerer earlier asked if we could do it again tomorrow night! I love showing people the power of God’s Word. It isn’t boring or out dated or irrelevant. No, the Word of God is strong.

So that is what I would like to do with my life. Teach the Bible and empower others to teach the Bible. When I get home I am going to start applying to grad schools and seminaries. Since I get home in October though, that will give me almost a year before I start school. So please be praying with me as I seek God’s plan for me this year, specifically with work.

Some Realizations about Cows:

I AM REALLY REALLY AFRAID OF COWS! That might sound crazy but this is the first time in my life I have regularly had to ride my bike/run/walk through herds of cows. And it is truly terrifying.

BUT….I REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKE COW PRODUCTS! This year I know that I must have developed a Calcium deficiency. I haven’t had a nice cold glass of milk in a YEAR! Although, cheese is now available in my city since the war is over, it is expensive and I don’t have a fridge (no electricity, remember?). Finally, I have searched and searched and there is not one drop of ice cream in my city. In fact I would have to drive four hours to have ice cream!

Thanks for all your prayers and support! I love you and hope to see you as I return to the states October 31st.

“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


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Heidi. Great insights. We look forward to watching what God does in the next few years in and through you.

  2. I can't wait to see you and hear about your last 5 months in person.

  3. Great post Heidi.Peace and grace to you.

  4. Hey Heidi, that's awesome you were able to define a vision statement and see God bring it about! What an awesome experience that must have been with the girls (and congratulations on having enough French to retell the story of Moses!)