I have learnt a lt this year. I learned that things don't always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think it should. And I've learned that there are things that go wrong that don't always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I've learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones. This year wasn't always pretty. It wasn't always comfortable. Some things and situations even break your heart. But that's okay. The journey changes you - it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness and on your heart. You take something with you, and hopefully also leave some things behind. I will forever remain humble because I know I could have less. And I will always be grateful because I know I've had less.
Why do we make life so complicated? Why do we so easily make mountains out of mere ant hills? It is not supposed to be this difficult and I dare say it is rather tiring to worry about everything all the time. My stay in Egypt these past two weeks has been a time of growth and transformation. Firstly I would like to mention that all the pictures I have seen, all the history that I have read and heard throughout my years of study about this wonderful place, I could have never imagined it to be so glorious in person. It was like being in a dream. The biggest lesson however, I learned was at a spiritual oasis called Anaphora. It certainly lived up to it's name. I do not know wether it was the stillness and tranquility, the flowers, or the lack of connectivity to the outside world and everything in between which made it such a wonderful place but I have come to the conclusion that wherever there is peace there is freedom. There is so much peace and tranquility there, you just want to remain there forever. It is a place to recharge and renew your mind end even your soul. It is where you feel God in the stillness. I know that He is good. The nuns, whom we call sisters, are beautiful and inspiring. They have so much patience and love, the fruits of the spirit are ever present in everything they do. The other volunteers especially from Sweden and France have stolen a piece of my heart which I will never want back. They have changed my life. Our stay at Anafora will always be longed for in the future to come. God had some things to reveal to me. He has been constantly and slowly moulding my mind and heart to become more like His and pursuing me with a love that conquers every fear. I am learning to love people I do not always like, I am learning to be content with what I have, to be quiet and still and to trust in His timing, for His favor will always come. I received a revelation specifically about the heart and where it is pointing to. In Proverbs 4: 23 it says: "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for it determines the course of your life." What is so significant about our entire time in Egypt is that this verse came alive to me through Egyptian mythology. In Egyptian mythology there is a god called Anubis. He guards the gate to the underworld. The Ancient Egyptians believed that when you died, you travelled to the Hall of the Dead. There Anubis weighed your heart against the feather of Ma'at. Ma'at, the goddess of justice sits on top of the scales to make sure that the weighing is carried out properly. If your heart was lighter than the feather, you lived for ever. If your heart was heavier than the feather then it was eaten by the demon Ammit, the Destroyer. The message is quite direct and clear. Our hearts determine the course of our life. If our hearts are set on the wrong course and it is filled with the wrong intentions, it is going to be complicated and difficult. But if it is set on God we can be more than conquerers in even the most trying times. "The boundaries in our lives are determined by what goes on in our hearts."- Brian Houston In other words we do not need to strive for others attention or validation to make us feel better about ourselves. This is not what our hearts should be set on. It should be set on Jesus. The only one who is worthy enough to give opinion and validation. Our hearts determine the course of our life. If it is set on Jesus then it does not matter what our circumstances are or what others say, when we keep our eyes focussed on the one who is love and and the source of peace, we need never to look down but only up. I have gained a peace in my heart which I never want to lose. Because I know my God is already in front of me preparing the way. Anafora, I will always carry our time together in my heart. You have taught my heart to rest in His embrace and to be still and know. He is God and He will always be there to pick me up when I fall.
Going to Turkey was different for many of us. Some enjoyed not knowing where to go, what to do or what God has planned for us there. We only knew that He wants us to serve but the question was who first. The first guess was the refugees. Makes sense…they need help… we are here to serve… so we aimed for them, but it was like shooting a moving target in the dark. We heard so many rumours about where they are or should be but arriving only to see a lack of people to serve…
Many of times we hear how much God loves us and wish nothing but the best for all his children; the ones that know his love and the ones that don’t know it as much. Looking back at my life, knowing all the wrong that I have done to others and myself, I’ve said and done things that I will always be ashamed of, the worst was not knowing if I am really forgiven. I’ve read the scripters and have said the words out loud, but still every detail of my past was not forgiven; well at least not all, according to me, looking for any sign that God loves me and that he will take care of me, regardless of my past. Seeing so many miracles happen to so many people around me but never to me, then having the devil having some fun in my head telling me lies to make me believe that he does not love me as much as the others. So having this scenario play out for years going round and round in my life…………………..
Ahh Middle East, what an awesome place! I'm so stoked that I had the privilege of serving the people of crossroads. I'm really liking the tea a lot it's like a mix between rooibos and normal tea, it's perfect!
wow!! I'm so stoked these past 42 days have been something else. Learning more about myself, God, the people around me and how situations can effect you when you beyond tired. I've really been blessed to be here with all these amazing people. From surviving in the freezing cold nights at our makeshift campsite with a sheltt that didn't even work and our fire being to far away from everything, all the "dear diary" entries made it just all the more funny. My survivor team was the orange team and already in 5days we had made a bond that wasn't broken. I learnt team work is very important and you can't be a one man team otherwise you will get wrecke. Then we got back to jbay and had like an afternoon to chill and we thought the hard stuff was done but nope this week we have to build a lovely road for the school of jbay GLA. That's was definitely a huge task but we all found what we where good at and worked together to make an awesome road. Then we had a chance to build relationships with the children of GLA at their camp over the weekend. We really had a fantastic time there laughing and pball the games. As soon as we got back from the camp we jumped Into the car and headed off to the Transkei to help at Canzibe. We built a fence and helped the orphans and the underprivileged children we played and danced and did lessons with skits for them they really made my heart break, they have so little but their smiles are bigger than anything I e ever seen. We also got an amazing chance to go to the hole in the wall at coffee bay. the last day at the transkei we where told that we are going to do a Luke ten back to jbay in small teams haha wow that was something out of this world my experiences in just those two days of how faith and listening can make a huge difference in The way we live and see things and experience them. Then we chilled back home at jbay for a week while the other teams did their stuff in capetown so I was so happy to finally have a bed and warm shower and got to Sleep late. The next week was lessons from Norm Wakefield, oom Gerrie and Uncle Joe and woah that stuff was mind-blowing my whole look on life has like been changed. The last couple of days has been very special spending the last bit of time we have with the other teams before we all go off. I'm just so overwhelmed at the fact that my new family is so awesome.
Kneeling on this battle groundSeeing just how much You've doneKnowing every victoryWas Your power in us
More recently i am convinced that the greatest battle you will ever fight is for your FIRST LOVE! The greatest call you will ever answer is the call to RETURN to your creator! The greatest purpose of your existence is for intimacy. You have been saved for GOD! "And this is eternal life, that they know You, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." [john 17:3]. What an Awe inspiring God we serve, the King of the universe loves and pursues a creation that's predisposition is to betray and reject HIM! But before you begin to think that this is another one of those pieces that will make you feel guilty about being a human listen to this Story ...
Everything that the Holy Spirit taught me just during our first week in São Paulo, Brazil, can be condensed into that one sentence: God doesn't need Google Translate. He really doesn't!
Have you ever crashed in a jungle by plane ?Well... neither have I.But I think the adrenaline levels I have experienced, landing in Manaus are pretty much the same as before the actual crash...Imagine a river so wide that out of the airplane you would mistake it with the ocean. And along the riverbed, an unending garden with all the shades of green you can think of. Beautiful from up there, but landing on what looks like to be on a bed of trees ( Because you see only jungle and no runway ), is quite frightening! Jhup, that's when I KNEW "we are in The Great Amazon" !When we landed, we were starving, so we had a quick lunch in the airport! ( 2min noodles in a pot with lukewarm water, I have you know! ) The guy from the YWAM base, where we stayed for our time in Manaus came to fetch us and so we were off...We had the opportunity to serve the people at the base with some labor of love and to minister to them. We also went out with them, evangelizing in the community, serving in the river tribes, worked at the orphanage and just spent some time together in fellowship and Bible study. Those people showed me a whole new picture of what God's love looks like. The way they endure and persevere with what God has given and shown them, blew my mind. They really are a lighthouse shining God's Kingdom in a dark dark spiritual realm..Crazy facts.-We played with a baby alligator. -We swam in the Amazon river. -I held a snake in my hands that was my length and a bit. -We ate a cooked fruit witch looked like a prune, smelled like a butternut, had the texture of a pumpkin and tasted like corn. -We were 14 people on 1 canoe, crossing the amazon river at night, without a light.-We hiked 2hours to the river tribes and 2 hours back through the -----Amazon jungle. -We got lost in the Amazon jungle. -My camera fell off into the most filthiest longdrop at the river tribes but with a lot of trouble and VERY dirty hands I managed to get it out. -My camera works. -The Lord loves us very much!
While our first week in Nepal we focused on encouraging the churches, the second week we focused on adding to them.
NEPAL, Katmandu, this is the ground on which we start our journey and what a journey it is going too be! First there are some things you should know about Nepal. There is the occasional power cut, pigeons flood the rails of rooftops,smog covers the foothills and hides the mountains from sight, the pollution a causes some locals to wear masks and prayer points and stone idols are spread amist the dirty, the strike is over and the streets come alive with cars , motorbikes, bicycles and people. Oh the people the wonderful, beautiful people of Nepal. I think I love you already.
We truly serve an awesome God :)