Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Africa Update

Praise GOD we have received all of our needed Africa funding! To those of you who gave support, thank you so much. Your generosity taught us how much God really does want us to go and do this by His providing all that we needed through you. We are all squared away, other than packing, which at this point seems like a looming task. We fly out from Miami on August 16th and return September 2nd so please be praying for us while we are traveling and serving in Uganda. Below are the excerpts taken from our prayer letter mailed to supporters. If you wouldnt mind looking over it and praying for us, we would greatly appreciate it.

Children all over the world need abounding love and reassurance that they are loveable. It has been my experience that showing up in person to express love and showing they are thought of, valued and worth making the effort to travel distances for has powerful impact on those who need it. Therefore, I have joined with 27 others to travel to Uganda to spend two weeks loving on children orphaned by AIDS and to build three group homes to shelter them. I am not really sure of my role on this team or what God’s plan is, but I am willing and grateful to go. I am extremely humbled and excited by this chance to "do something". I think my heart is full now but I know that once I meet these people, I will be overflowing and humbly blessed.
I ask your prayers on behalf of this team and the work we will be doing in Africa. Please keep us in your daily prayers to strengthen us both spiritually and physically to help where it is needed. I will also be taking some Bibles and children’s books to them so if you feel led to contribute toward their purchase, I would be very grateful. Thank you for your prayers and support. We have so much and they have so little.

I made a recent trip to the inner city of Jacksonville, FL with the youth choir that I lead/direct. There we ministered to kids who were basically orphans, just not in the legal sense. They had parents, but they were non-existent, wanting, in a lot of cases, nothing to do with their children. It broke my heart. I realized that this trip to Uganda will be same concept, difference place, and probably a lot worse than Jacksonville, FL. I love kids. I love to make them laugh. I love to see them smile. The AIDS epidemic is ripping through Africa like crazy. Poverty is at an all time high. Those children need love. They need to be loved on, letting them know they are loved by people from all over the globe. Sure, let’s do some construction. Let’s build some houses or schools while we are there. It is all ministry work.
I would covet your prayers deeply while we are away. Not only for the safety of my wife, my mother-in-law and myself, but for our entire team of 27. Pray for strength. Pray for health. And pray some more for strength, and not just physical, but spiritual and mental. We are going to witness things we can’t possibly imagine. Protect us through your prayers, please. We will long to feel them!

My heart has had an unexplainable connection to Africa ever since I became a Christian in 1997. It was one of the first things God called me to do- work with the orphans in Africa. I tried many times to make it happen but God’s timing has been so different than mine. I am so excited and challenged by the idea of this mission trip. I know I can love on some kids and drive in some nails or carry and cement cinder blocks because I’ve done all of that before. But what I ask you to pray for is that I wont rely on my own strength, talents or personality. Instead I hope the children, and other people we come in contact with, will see right through me and find the nourishment they need in the loving arms of Christ. They don’t need another friend, or another building, or another t-shirt, they need a relationship with their Savior. My calling is to point them in that direction. May I be faithful to fulfill that responsibility. Pray for weakness in the times that require vulnerability and strength for the tasks that demand it. Pray for change: in us, in them, in their homeland and in ours. Thank you for your encouragement and support. I am humbled by your continuous love.


Iz said...

Bethany, you continue to challenge me to be a more Godly woman! To ask prayer to be vulnerable... The people you meet in Africa will have NO PROBLEM seeing Jesus in you, because He is SO EVIDENT in your heart!! Thank you for reminding me today that vulnerability isn't a bad thing, but sometimes the mightiest weapon. I will be praying for you guys not just in the trip itself, but in the bonding you're gonna do there...that God will be merciful that coming home will not devastate you. You've waited a long time for this, and you are His perfect hands and feet to be loving on these people!

roxann said...

Very insightful comment IZ "God will be merciful that coming home will not devastate you"
Think about this Bethany....I pray for you.

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