I am leaving for Nigeria for 6 months on June 13th...3 months from right now. I honestly cannot believe how fast the time has gone. I still feel like last year is this year and I feel like I just left Nigeria. In the midst of the time here though my heart has ached that I could not be there with the kids. There was even a time where I could not even let my self think of the kids I left behind because I would immediately start crying. I don't know what it is that kicks in when you are around children that have no parents or someone to love them and care for them...it's a maternal instinct I guess. I love them with a real, unconditional, motherly love.
I know I'm not the only one who loves and cares for them...right now, because of, A Place of Hope, there are several people who are now a part of the huge undertaking of raising and loving these children. But I cannot wait to be back!
I am very thankful that I got to be back home for a time and spend time with friends and family(pic is with me and my sisters at thanksgiving), get involved with an awesome church, and also for my job. I've been working with kids(the pic of the boy is one of the kiddos I work with) with behavioral problems and it has taught me so much that I feel like I can take back with me to the orphanage.
This time has been challenging though too. If you read my previous post, you can see that I have struggled spiritually. Also, I've struggled with a lot of doubt and insecurities. Am I supposed to go back? For how long? How will I know if I am supposed to be there permanently or not? How am I going to get the money? What do I actually have to offer them anyways? Do I need to get a degree, or can God use me now?...and on and on they go.
I have had to come to terms with, yes, God has placed amazing, Godly people in my life and I should listen to and consider their encouragement and advice but also, God is living and speaking in me. And ultimately, after everything else, I have to listen to the call that God has placed in my life, and to nothing else...right now that call is to go to Nigeria to minister to, love, serve and share the life changing Gospel with the hopeless people there. I don't know exactly how that will look. I know it won't be glamorous, it won't be comfortable for sure, it won't look like the smartest thing to do, or the most enjoyable sometimes. I know it will include saying goodbye to people I love and missing out on their lives. It will mean not being able to give into a whim to buy something or indulge in something I "just have to have!". I know it will hurt, I know there will be tears, and a lot of insecurities.But that is a good thing. I don't want for one second to feel confident in ANYTHING that I have to offer. I want to have to rely on Christ's strength through me every second of the day. And I know that in His presence, is FULLNESS of joy! I have no choice but to be humble anyways...I don't have a degree or special skill to offer to these people. But I do have Christ. What else to they need...really?? If i could give them the best medical treatment there was to offer, money, a good job...what would that mean for them? They would still be living a hopeless, empty, joyless life.
But, oh, I have so much more to offer them!! And what better way to show them, but to serve them, love them, live with them, get dirty with them,care for the abandoned and unwanted of them?
I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't have a degree or special skill(accept for like healing and raising people from the dead of course...I wouldn't mind having that!)...but He was a living, breathing, example of the Gospel...He WAS the gospel!If I ever feel like I need to go back to school and get a degree, to better benefit the gospel and people, I will. But I won't do it to appease people and, right now, I am being told to GO.
I do have an amazing opportunity to take an intense medical training before I go though, and I am so excited about it! It is specifically aimed at people who will be in places where there is no or bad medical care and I get to learn how to do sutures, injections, deliver babies, administer medicine, diagnose disease etc.
Please pray for me. I want to trust God in EVERY part of my life. I want to be willing to take up the cross, which is not a flippant thing. Jesus died a horrendous, agonizing death on that cross.
Pray that I will know if I am to move to Nigeria permanently and if so, that I will be able to get permanent residency. Also, pray that God will raise up people that will be willing to be a part of the ministry by giving monthly and praying for it and me!
Pray that lives will be changed there. Pray that these precious children will come to know Christ and grow up with a knowledge of Him and the life he has offered them.
And please let me know how I can be praying for you!
If you are interested in seeing how God is working amazingly through simple people living for Him, check out this blog: http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/ This is a 21yr old girl who quit college and moved to Uganda and is now a mother to 14 girls and is doing amazing things for God!