Hello from Joburg!
As the smoke on the horizon seems to never leave – there is much that has happened. I pray that a storm will roll in and clear the air of such debris, in my own heart as well.
Since being here – God has been reminding me of His constant pursuit; regardless of circumstances, trials, joys or even in thunderstorms – amidst it all.
These weeks have been some of the lowest mentally. Wrestling with the Lord on what would glorify Him while trying to uphold boundaries; it’s been a hard fight. I have felt called to South Africa, yet due to a variance of reasons, the initial ministry did not work out. This left me needing to leave but not knowing where to begin or even what to do. Do I fly home and call it a day? Do I try to find another ministry? Is this it for missions?
Feeling deceived and struggling, the Lord broke my heart to show me hope is in Him alone. Not in a ministry, a destination, or even a certain people group. A specific prayer before I came was to be broken. To see more of His face – yet it seems to always be in a different way than I had expected – leaving one dependent on Him when my heart cries out.
My dad; cheerleader over his family and lover of buildings and Jesus – is one of my favorite people. He loves intentionally and laughs easily with a chai tea in hand. By stepping away from growing his own name in the architecture realm, He chose to obey God, moving our family cross-country and opening our eyes to missions. He loves kiddos with a passion and believes in the underdog.
More than anything – He fights when my own faith has fallen short and hope seems like a next-door neighbor.
Embracing him one last time, these words were written:
We sat at the gate;
tears filling the cavern of goodbyes
as last embraces occurred
and hearts were torn
as steps were made
to the place of deep desire once again.
In the pitfalls – in the heartbreak of hope and seeing the passionate desire to work with mama’s and babies overseas, God saw it all and was cultivating something new. Like my dad, He was watching attentively to it all, as the tears and restlessness were felt.
Something beautiful and heart-healing was being made, as the tears continued to stream down and land on the empty platter of my heart, His glory was shining through, just not in eyesight quite yet.
Taking the first step and sharing with my parent’s, community of mentors and trusted friends what was happening – it was decided that I needed to leave – whatever that meant – trusting that His faithfulness would not waiver as my own heart did.
While in the midst of it, my heart poured this out:
I’m learning more and more that grief is a friend.
a twisted-sweet friend.
One who adds salt to old wounds
and yet comforts in the still of the night.
I’ve learned its presence is not solely found in seasons but rather in the constant.
In every decision.
Every passing – there is death of one and life in another.
Yet, You are the outlier –
the standout – defeating death and bringing new life.
My dad is on sabbatical as he takes time to dream and heal, quieting to the gentle whisper of God, before going anywhere next. Yet, he set it all aside to help me figure out what to do. Grateful for my community made up of my sweet mama, friends, mentors and prayer warriors, who walked with me through the questioning.
Spending the in-between time with a couple I met on the flight over, God sufficiently provided. It was a weekend abundant with dogs, visiting the wife’s art pieces at the local gallery, rugby games and even connecting with their family friend who’s a practicing Trauma Counselor. God used it all to remind me of His love, as He was creating new possibilities amidst the sour situation.
I am now working with Hearts of Hope, who provides a beautiful safe home for vulnerable children. Initially purchasing a home and taking occupation in December 2007, they currently care for 43 orphaned and vulnerable children, aged between birth and 18 years old.
Days are filled with holding babies, comforting, laughing and simply doing life loving on an abundance of kiddos. Already, this place will be a hard one to leave; sensing that great healing will come, not just in the kiddos lives. Little bodies are waiting back at home to go for a walk and help with the next thing as the afternoon sun dries up the raindrops of last night’s storm. God provided amidst the drought of my own faith – bringing rain as a reminder of His faithfulness. Again and again – being all that is needed and so much more.
If you’d like to check out the new ministry and learn of all the Lord is doing in and through them, here is the link! https://heartsofhope.org.za/
- For my heart to believe that God will provide regardless of changing circumstances.
- For all the house mamas at Hearts of Hope to keep loving these kids from an overflowing cup of strength and joy.
- For home-sickness to give way as it is still very present.
- For the initial ministry, to be blessed in all that they are doing.
- For safety over my previous team.
Until next time,