Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-- pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Luke 6:38

It's good to be home, is a confusing term in our household nowdays, where is our home? Here, South Africa, Zimbabwe...I (Jackie) have always called South Africa home, even though I left there 19 years ago. However after being there these past couple months, I realise it is not my home, its definately the place I grew up and one that I love dearly, but it definately is not my home anymore.  I honestly for some strange and for the first time in 19 years, was happy to be back in the US, cause this is now my home and has been for more than half my adult life.  I realised my kids are American, my husband is American, they like America and all that it is to them. And I have to very hesitantly say that after this trip I felt more American that South African (yes blasphemy to my South African friends reading this)...

1. a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.
2.the place in which one's domestic affections are centered. institution for the homeless, sick, etc.: a nursing home.
4.the dwelling place or retreat of an animal.
5.the place or region where something is native or most common.

 We had many homes these past 4 months
We visited many different homes these past 4 months

If home is where the heart is, as a believer in Jesus Christ, then heaven is my home.

If home is where the heart is as a non-believer then my home is the earthly dwelling I reside in.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Matthey 6:19   We saw so many earthly treasures being store up, behind the doors of shacks, behind electric fences and burglar bars, in little stone houses not bigger than my living room.

As humans we have this tendency to store to gather things, things that make our lives supposedly richer or more comfortable.  We seek to have a better life for us, for our children, but truly if we all just trusted the Lord to provide our needs (and not our wants) and to not live for all the earthly treasures we so eagerly chase after, how much less would we need to worry about what the future brought:

Matthew 6:  Do Not Worry
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifeb?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Mark 9:35 
35Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Are we living our lives and truly being grateful for the Grace that has been extended to us through Jesus death on the cross, or are we living our lives serving ourselves first and with the best and then throwing the extra towards the Lord's work.  

We were very challenged on this trip to examine our own lives and truly see if we truly are willing to serve the very least of these, if we truly are willing to lay it all down, if we truly are willing to put aside the comforts of our American way of life, wether we live here or in Zimbabwe or South Africa.  Are we willing to give not just our first fruits but to truly say to the Lord - here I am send me, whatever the cost.

I have been very challenged going throuh Romans these past couple weeks and seeing Pauls life and what it truly cost Him to preach the gospel, to truly be willing to wait on the Lords timing and to accept the circumstances of that time -  no matter what the cost.

Are we willing to count it ALL JOY!

Our trip was amazing, it was everything we thought it would be, it was wonderful to see all the sweet people in Zimbabwe, to truly feel the joy and struggle of their everyday life.
South Africa is always beautiful, the kids were so at home there, but it was definately relationally challenging on many levels.
Living Hope the ministry we worked with is just amazing and we would encourage you all to pray for them and the awesome work the Lord is doing through them.

Yes its good to be back in my comfortable, air conditioned home, where the power doesn't go off, and the water always runs and is clean, where my washing machine and dryer sit fully functioning next to each other, where the neighborhood doors can stay open for laughing children to freely run in and out of...for now
What does the future hold?  We don't know yet, its definately to go at some point and some capacity...we need time 
To process
To think
To pray
To be still
To read
To seek wisdom 

We will be having a download sometime over this summer, if you could bear with us until we are ready, so we can slow down a bit after being slammed back into our lives here.

If you could pray with us, we would love to spend time one on one with families - so please invite yourself over for dinner, or invite us to your house.

If you would pray for us, for wisdom, for the counsel we need to move forward...

We cannot thank everyone enough who supported us in prayer, it carried us through when we truly weren't able to pray for ourselves or those around us anymore, our groanings were interceded and give up to the Lord - thank you.  Financially we were beyond blessed to be able to do all the ministry we felt led to, to have all our expenses covered, to bless those who needed, to have all our bills covered while we were gone...and to have a home to bring our children back many helped that happen through prayer, through donations, through David's wonderful customers giving him work...we are eternally thankful.

We are blessed beyond measure...hope to catch up with you all soon

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This was written 19 April 2012, but never got a chance to post it, thankful for good internet back here in the US, updated post coming soon soon:

Trying to write a blogpost, but way too much going on in my heart and head that needs to be procesessed, so here are the highlights :
1. Its a beautiful clear and cool Autumn day in Cape Town
2. Jesus loves you and died for you, even if you choose not to acknowledge His sacrifice or existence in this world today
3. He truly is the only way to heaven
4. Two more weeks till the kids and I get to com...e back to the US
5. Chattanooga, Cape Town and Earth are not my home - Heaven is!
6. There are a lot of physically poor and vulnerable people in the world, and I think we all have a responsibility to share our physical wealth with them, and spend time with them, I have seen so much dedication and dependance on God through the physically poor and emotionally broken on this trip - we have a lot to learn
7. I think Francis Chan is a great modern day role model (if you don't know who he is you are missing out)
8. I miss my husband
9. Me and my back are looking forward to sleeping in my bed again
10. I have great kids and am very thankful for all the time I get to invest into their lives, and so thankful that our schoolroom is not bound by the same building each day
11. Thankful for my parents love and generosity towards me and my family
12. Not sure what the future holds, but looking forward to it with excitement knowing the Lord will show us the way, and that it will be His perfect will not ours...
13. I have great friends, and am thankful for all you bring to my life
14. Thankful that God uses and works in non-believers lives even when they are not aware of it - I probably wouldn't be here today without Him working in my life when I was lost