Saturday, June 19, 2010

Reflections on Africa - Part 3

Thank you for following my journey to Africa with me, as I recap some of my journal entries through this blog. I continue to do so again now, but we're going to change locales a bit. We've just completed the first two workshops at the Love Center, and we're now moving to a new location a bit further out - Faith Works Ministries.

Journal Entry - June 10
Today has been an emotionally charged day on many levels. The day began with what else? RAIN! And...lots of it. It delayed us leaving for Brewerville, about an hour away, for the next workshop. But, it finally slacked off enough for us to begin the trek over there. We saw more of the country today than we have all week so far. However, most of the sites weren't very pleasant to look at. Extreme poverty. It makes me sick to think that anyone has to live this way. When we got to the church - we were pleasantly surprised to see that it was inside an orphanage compound. There were nearly 100 women waiting for us when we arrived. This was a MUCH different crowd than the last two days. The women were less educated, less attentive, and generally noisier. However, they still knew how to dance and praise the Lord. The hand massages were very popular - like at Love Center. I think we ended up doing around 30 each. The message that I gave on being God's princesses took on a completely different meaning here. Not only did the women hear that they were "royalty", but God really impressed upon some of them to also wisely choose the name of their children. Maria shared on the ride back to the compound that many of these women name their children by what is taking place in their life at the time. For example, they might literally name their child "Poor Me" or "Hard Times" or "Struggle". It's amazing to see how God took that message and allowed the women to hear something completely different than I intended. But, it was obviously something God wanted them to hear.

The rooms in our compound continue to fall apart. We've had things break right in front of us. Tonight, it was my shower - the floor of it literally caved in. Ginger and I decided that we need to find a way for a group of US men to come here and work on this facility before it completely falls apart.

Journal Entry - June 11
I don't even know where to begin writing today. I'm emotionally spent! Today's workshop was amazing! It was a smaller crowd than yesterday, but many of the same women returned. God gave me a gift today in a woman by the name of Teresa. I was able to see her transfrom into something spiritually beautiful between yesterday and today - right before my eyes. Ginger and I were both very drawn to her! She had her beautiful son with her today as well. God makes such beautiful people! At the end of each of the workshops this week, Maria has invited the women to come forward and share how our messages have touched them and how God is working in their lives. These particular women have a hard time communicating their emotions (Maria explained to us later), so they expressed themselves with a song. We had so many beautiful songs shared with us this afternoon. However, those that chose to also speak with words did so in such touching ways. My life will literally never be the same again! They flocked to us afterwards begging for our address and phone number. They treat us like celebrities, and I don't like that attention. I'm a woman just like they are - I just happen to be very blessed to live in the USA.

(BTW...I was so happy to be able to talk to Chris a little while ago - I needed to hear his voice desperately.)

The ride back to the compound today was very interesting. Traffic was horrible, and we even had to drive with the van door open part of the time - just to be able to tolerate the heat! Apparently, a drunk man "allowed" himself to be hit by our van (barely). He started shouting obscenities and ended up spitting on our driver and front seat passenger. What a crazy, messed up place this is - desperately needing the Hope found in Christ alone! We saw more and more poverty, as we made our way back to the compound. The stench of it won't leave my nostrils. I'm starting to long for home, but I'll return home a changed woman!

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