Hi everyone! I’m sorry that this is my first blog post, especially tothose of you who I told I would update it often (Mandy and Mrs. Kyla 😉 ). I just haven’t really been sure what to say or what to share, but I’m just gonna start writing and sharing what I’ve been doing, what the team has been doing, and what God has been teaching me while here.
The day that Pastor Jeff and Brandon picked me up from the airport, while we were on our five hour drive home, Jeff asked me if I would be willing to teach English at the After School Program starting “tomorrow” at the time. I was really nervous, but I told him, “Yes, if that’s what you need from me!” I was nervous mainly because even though I speak English, I don’t know it that well, much less where to begin teaching it. It was always my least favorite subject in school; I was always a math and science kind of girl. I think it’s kind of funny that sometimes God will put us in our least favorite areas. In this case, I believe God put me in my least favorite place to show His strength. Since my first mission trip, to Scotland, this has been a consistently reoccurring verse in my life.. “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. English, and teaching in front of classrooms are both weaknesses of mine. Which is amazing, because now I have to totally rely on the Lord to make the teachings well. I’ve spent a lot more time in prayer just because of the English class. The first couple of weeks were kind of rough when it came to the English classes. But now, it’s coming together better. I’m hoping to have a curriculum written out for the whole school year before I leave. Please be praying that I would be disciplined enough to do it, and to be able to do it well. My favorite thing about the After School Program though, is getting to know the kids. Even though there is a language barrier, some of the kids have been patient enough to sit there and talk with me, asking people to translate when we just can’t understand each other.
Another outreach that we do on a regular basis here is to the Women’s shelter. All the women here have either been sexually abused or trafficked. We team up with some other missionaries here in the area. The leader of the outreach puts together a teaching and comes up with a craft for the outreach to the shelter. We go every two Saturdays. My first Saturday going, they had me in helping with the craft. They told us that we would first have the mothers doing the craft. When they had the group of girls split up and the mothers come with us, I was shocked. Girls from 12-18 came with us. This saddened me greatly, but also I got so mad. I thought, “You can’t call this a woman’s shelter, this is a GIRLS’ shelter.” It’s shocking to see a room full of girls, 50 girls at the least, and to know that each one of them have been sexually abused in some way. It’s the hardest outreach, but it’s the one that I like the most. I’ve been able to get to know some of the girls and even lead some to Christ. And even the ones that I don’t get to know, I am grateful that I even get to be a part of this outreach, and that we have an opportunity to share the Word of God and to just love on these girls.
About two weeks before I got here, the church bought a school. They have been working on the construction on it since before I got here. The school will open up when the new school year starts in January. Some of the funds have been provided. But please be in prayer for the remaining funds of the school. (And let me know if you feel led to help support this school financially!)
Another big thing that has happened here is the opening of the restaurant. We have two chefs here on our mission team. One of them trained in France and mastered in multiple cuisines. (I’m eating his food as I write this, yumm!) Opening weekend was last week, and we had the opportunity to serve some of the service men and women and the mayor on our opening night. The profits from the restaurant will be to help offset some of the costs of the school. At the same time, the restaurant is a ministry. When people come in, some of us have the opportunity to talk with them and be a light to them. One of the pastors visiting on opening weekend gave a devo right before our opening night. First, he started with, Acts 2:42, “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and to prayer.” We have done all of that, including the breaking of bread to a small extent with occasional home fellowship. But now, we get to do the breaking of bread to an even bigger extent with having the restaurant open every weekend. Then he moved on to teaching over Acts 6. This is where 7 men, full of the Holy Spirit were chosen to wait the tables. This pastor was encouraging us and telling us that helping this restaurant was not mundane work, even if you were just waiting tables. This WILL have an impact on the Kingdom of God. Do you know how these waiters in Acts 6 impacted the Kingdom? Well, one of the waiters chosen to be one of the first waiters was Stephen. If you remember, Stephen was the first martyr for Jesus Christ. Knowing this fact alone, you can tell that being a waiter was not mundane, “non-spiritual” work. So, it’s just so cool to see how privileged we are to have the opportunity to work in the church’s restaurant. Even on the days that we just have a few customers, we have sweet fellowship between the few staff working at the time. So just remember, however small the work may seem, don’t give up, because God can use even the small things mightily.
So, I really wanna get this posted, though I have more to tell you. So for now, this is all, but I will share more later on! Love you guys, and thank you for your prayers!