An incredible two weeks have now passed since arriving in Africa, from the first week in Kenya with Luvway and their team in the slums of Nairobi to the now current ending of week one back in Mwanza, Tanzania. Through these two weeks, I have been kept in constant awe and caught up in a continuous conversation of experience and communion in regards to the heart of the Father God, His plan and His will. The ongoing exchange of revelation, reminder and rediscovering has been surfacing at an excelled rate and the speed not seeming to slow down anytime in the near future. Though it may be much to take hold of and at times weightier than I think I can withstand, I do hope it does not let up nor slow down. I am encouraged by the heart and faithfulness of God, how He desires to connect with His creation and people and His character which is committed to being out strength and be our faithful guide. This past week especially, a week globally set aside to honor and acknowledge love, this was also on a personal and individual side, the week I reunited with the children here whom I have grown to love and who are the primary reason for my arrival and return. It's this past week I am reliving the words I was given when I gave my life back to God, stepped into the journey of falling back in love with Jesus and into a life of grandeur and greater surrender. Those words never forgotten and as that invitation and those words bring new reminder, challenge and life, I hear the Lord continue to minister His will and heart. I am overcome and also overwhelmed once more of what love really means, invites us into, requires and entails. I am thankful for the voice of Heavens Heart and allowances to enter into His gospel message but also beautiful dance of love. I am thankful for the way Father God cares for His children, the everlasting Hesed Love He has and how drastically different it is from natural human affection. I am encouraged and also convicted by the ongoing, constant invitations to know Him more, learn further of this love language and dance, while I enter in further to treasure that which He treasures. Love really changes things.
Reunited with these twins and miss Neenah.
"You are of infinite worth and value. But you will never be able to love and experience it in it's everlasting fullness until you let me love you completely. Its not until you know, receive and share in my love and receive it for yourself that you will be able or have the capacity to give, let alone receive. Those dreams and yearnings, those visions, even if from me, their completion and fullness hinge on this. The very way you receive determines and influences the way you will give. PERIOD. Love is an inside out working and it begins here. It starts in YOU, it starts with and from My source. Everything else you do, place you travel, step foot and every person you meet or 'love,' will be directly affected by this whether you know it or not. Love will likely be more than you bargened and far grandeur than you probably wished or think you can stand but it will lead you into everything and more than you could ever desire or need. Know me, let me in. Allow me to mold your heart while I love you FIRST. I am the ultimate all in, I DO and Hesed. It has nothing to do with you but everything to do the invitation I extend and what I planned in advance to do in you, through you for your good and my glory. Complete my joy, Show up, RSVP. Let it happen and let love do what it does best. The world is waiting, Heavens watching and hell hates it. It's crucial, you are worth it and important to me. After all, I started it and created you."
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 NIV
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33 NIV
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
...and the greatest of these is LOVE. In it, we find everything and MORE...
There is a reason why life can feel empty: man was created with a yearning that God alone can satisfy. Individuals can not be fulfilled until they experience His transforming and unconditionalLOVE.
"Learning to love as God loves breaks down the issues in our lives. Our poor self-image shifts as we see ourselves as Christ sees us. Our history falls by the wayside without a word of counseling or deliverance. God simply infects us completely. When a Divine outpouring of the love of God comes, there is a displacement of the wounds we currently have." - Graham Cooke Quotes
Jonah my Valentine ^ and
<Sunsets over Lake Victoria. The reuniting left us both speechless!
When sitting down to put my thoughts together today, this overcast yet hot Sunday morning here in Tanzania, I am taken for a detour in my original direction for this post. As I began to write and notice the turn in topic, I shortly had confirmation in the direction this was going. I originally thought I would be sharing detail of the week spent in Kenya partnering with Luvway and Glory Christian onto the first week reconnecting with Mwanza, the community and way of life here, not to mention the best part; the kids I have dearly missed. Instead, prior to expanding on these opportunities and encounters, I am led to start with first things first. LOVE. The bedrock, foundation and center of it all. Where it always has begun. In other words, the Lord wants us to feel, be and love completely, which can happen and last only through daily communion and a relationship with Him. Nothing else, the people and time matter until this is established first. Until God is first. While stepping foot back in this soil and town and encountering these children and this community, the volume and microphone have been turned up and I see God's heart all over this place. He is near to the broken hearted and His presence not chained nor restricted.
It is important for me to address that I write this blog not with having reached my complete end, the goal or perfection in any way when it comes to love and its fullness, but I do write and express from experience and as one who is currently growing in knowledge and understanding of this vast LOVE relation and all of its implications and blessings. I am personally walking this out, challenged, tested, convicted, stretched and lead into the deeper waves and current daily. I am often pressed into asking myself profound questions, realizing the level of self centerdness that can exist and hinders my giving genuine love, as well as the growing recongization of the profound reality of how twisted, distorted, self satisfying and watered down true love as the bible knows it has overtime become, not only in various areas of my life but in the world and across the globe. I also write with having tasted truth, the joy and byproduct of trusting in God and letting him pilot more and more of my will and desires. If I have been reminded of anything, it's how important this is, different it is from our human perspective and come from the God who is present. He the same yesterday, today and forever; in America, in Africa and throughout the world...
There has indeed been alot of love weaved into the past two weeks since leaving America, carefree love and love that carries weights which remind me of the cost. All in all it has been made known to be the focal and focus of the Heart of God, unescapable and utmost in importance. It is transformative and it is surely not blind. I am honored to step into all which God is already doing here and enter further into his purposes and will for the days to come.
Glory Christian School, Nairobi Kenya >
Thank you to all who have been partnering with this call to ministry and love over seas here is Africa. Your support and investment continue to bless me and make this possible. Until the update to follow which will share more on the past 2 weeks of opportunity and partnership as well as travel and reacquainting myself and connecting with partnerships thus far in Tanzania; your partnership in prayer on the following points is received and greatly appreciated:
1) Praise for safe travels back to US for Luvway team, God has used and blessed them in mighty ways
2) Praise for safe travels to Mwanza TZ and assimilation back into this town this past week
3)Prayer for continuous open doors for ministry opportunity and partnership visions with children's village
4)Prayer for connections and encounters along the way
5)Prayer for continued good health and over all strength for days to come
6)Prayer for 5 year old Jonah, as he continues to fight for wellness each day as we believe in and petition for greater and lasting stability in his medical journey and precious life
7)Prayer for receptivity and discernment in partnering with what God is doing and His will to be done as desires in months to come
8)Continued financial support to cover the remains of my stay here and potentially extended stay as God wills.