"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back.. everything is different." C.S Lewis
"Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you. (Genesis 13:14–15)
Thank all of you following for your prayers and support. Another month has flown by since my last post and I am alive and well minus a few massive mosquito attacks and similar happenings, God has been gracious and made known to be my source of endurance. The time here in this region in Tanzania and up at the village the past near 2 months has been everything and more than I would have imagined or anticipated. As the days begin their countdown to returning to the states, I am beginning to miss the children immensely. Leaving them and their lives once again has to be one of the most difficult surrenders and things to walk away from. Since arrival, new territory has been walked, fought for and also gained at various lengths for both myself and the staff here. As one may imagine, the trekking of new roads and territory which has yet to be paved at the young age of this children's home, leaves room for a variety of new experiences, obstacles, challenges and levels of patience required. This navigating is new for both myself and the village and I am with each visit learning the ebbs and flows of this organization. I am always in awe yet never surprised at the timing and happening of events, believing all from the providence of the Lord and His knowing in wisdom. The days continue to be long, fast and full. They are always changing, always look different and not void of learning or growing opportunities. The only thing that is constant is the inconsistency woven in these days, level of new circumstances presented daily, each thread demanding a continually increasing flexibility and fluidity in the daily training school where patience, peace and perseverance is taught. Over all, the weeks and months have required an utmost trust in unseen, the Lord’s will, ways and allowances. He has been the one to sustain us.
I had a mid week encounter last week I would like to share, one that continues to put imagery to the alluded to above. It was following a rather challenging week. The week had called for a great level of endurance from the start with little rest from various circumstances presented and ongoing challenges faced. Waking each day without ideal amounts of sleep for a majority of the time here has also not been favored. This day I woke with a reminder surfacing from within, stopping me in my tracks as I was hands and knees on the floor clearing another spill from the broken glass which had recently shattered throughout my kitchen/room. My ‘rope’ was wearing and grip slipping as this seemed to be the peak of the stretching week on all levels. Holistically I was nearing exhaustion. The reminder which I then heard were the clearly spoken words I had received when offered the invitation and given instruction in my return back to Mwanza to reconnect with these children and this new location they were living in. The words have been finding their way to my thoughts more than once in the days here. Amongst the time they were heard while still preparing to leave in the states, they were encouraging while offered a challenge to almost rest in. Yet in this particular moment, the word was a bit more direct, specific, intentional and reveling. The words resurfaced, ‘Go now, don't wait. For I am with you and that is everything you will need. You will learn with them and you will grow with them. It’s a partnership, its always a partnership and you both will need me and will have to do this with me. Your with me, I'm with you, GO. I will teach you.’ I saw God’s heart for relationship and the beauty and often discomfort in the double edged sword created in relationships and the partnerships to assist in aiding of growth, mutual development to those receptive and a dependence in God. I also was aware of the humble state this would draw and invite me into in order to serve and partner in a more fruitful here. In other words, this was my agreement and basis of direction and purpose. I would be learning alongside. But what did this mean? Learning as in educational equipping or was this more of a spiritual learning? Supposing and assuming it could be both, I trusted only God knew His words and depth of intention. In order to keep God’s ultimate will first and in sight as well as to help rather than hurt those I am now drawing alongside , this would be the way to ‘go’ and it was still my mission and exactly what was being faced with this day; opportunities offered as lessons. A becoming. It was also clear God was overall and this was not about my own doing, nor my helping or them needing a ‘mama Lacey’ to return but rather about God’s will, sovereignty and providence in whatever He so desired and had in mind. This was about the becoming in the village and the becoming within me. There are many sweet and cherished opportunities that come from this reliance of each other in order of lasting fruit to be found. But if I am honest, this is messy and in the reality of it also encompasses many trials, lessons and tests not limited to, obedience, trust and humility. There I was, hearing this once more, an encouraging and reminding word, soothing and convicting me simultaneously this morning as I was on near empty. Once more, ‘I told you how it would be Lacey, I haven't failed you, I am in it and this is part of what I meant. Remember what I said? I know what you thought and I know what I foresaw. I have been honest, faithful and am still in this.’ Wow… Way to leave it to the Spirit and to meet me at such a time and speak through shards of glass and a coconut! Stunning. I am thankful for such relations and encounters like this one found in the presence of God. Though seeming bitter sweet and though not dramatically changing the circumstances at hand which were still to be worked through, it did offer a new level of hope, heart posture and reminder of the rule of God. He is sure faithful and mans ways are not His.
I am excited for the future, I am believing in the unseen, anticipate the unknown in the days to come despite and even if current circumstances present difficulty. This I foresaw and a risk one takes to enter into knowing the outcome and the treasure found within and the WHY you press on is worth it all. As most likely know and can relate, it never was supposed to be ‘easy’ nor rarely is. I knew this and here I was tasting a reminder of its truth but also loyalty of the Heavenly Father’s commitment as well as omnipresence. Yes, stretched immensely, carrying questions that lay beyond me and praying for endurance yet still looking up and forward to the future visits back here, trusting the foundation and way is being made in and through what may often feel like a sweet cup of coconut water becoming a shattered mess of broken glass, leaving shards and slivers remaining on the floor to pick up and avoid stepping in. The journey, the unwinding and the becoming. There is beauty to be found and like a kaleidoscope, the broken glass scattered about offers a new lens. Hard to find at times but available. It’s not the pieces, it’s the perspective, posture. It's part of the process. I would like to believe I'm not the only one often needing this reminder and rather often. As it seems much of life circumstances and experiences offer this same opportunity of reminder, refocus, alignment and a gathering of fresh perspective. In case you were wondering, I was able to salvage and was able to enjoy the coconut leaving me satisfied yet still remaining with just enough of a thirst for more of the Holy Spirit's filling.
Isaiah 55:9- “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
I am taken back to this verse, this truth and this foundational view it holds. In thus, thankfulness and an uprising of peace to press inward to gain understanding while looking upward and onward in the direction of enduring hope.
“When obstacles present themselves we are learning one of the laws of life in Christ Jesus, which is “one of the Father’s great passions is His enthusiasm for our encouragement.” He loves the unexpected! It is where we learn in trust to anticipate His blessing. An enterprise that can appear to be unplanned, un-designed and chaotic is actually our training and proving ground to enable us to grow up in all things.” - (from Keys To Brilliant Focus, by Graham Cooke)
Keep Pace • Keep Peace• "There is no substitute for trust and being led by the Spirit. It is a moment-by-moment, day-by-day relationship that is being built into you. Take His hand. His character is predictable; His ways are many and varied."-GC
Trust the wait.
Embrace the uncertainty.
Enjoy the beauty of becoming.
When nothing is certain, anything is possible.
Large new helmet and once again we are safe travelers back on the road.
A little break away to visit Tunza beach on Lake Victoria
Brighton, my bright little friend and light to this home.
PHYSICAL THERAPY Friday! This one is sure happy and will be crawling in no time! Thankful for the team who has been coming weekly to work with littles like this lad.
Such a light and Miracle this boy is. kindly gifted me with a 'moon' sticker to wear to town.
Priceless and precious faces. Their joy leaves no room for much other than unescapable laughter.
Bible story time with these older kiddos. Always an event getting them to all smile at once.
HAZINA• My treasure and human Tanzanite. This is us. A tad goofy, a pinch quirky, a lota bit unique yet two peas in a pod and our companionship one in a million. His better days are by far my best.
Boda Boda (motorcycle) driver, raffiki and brother in Christ. Both of us are always learning something new!
Stickers all around. If he doesn't just make you smile and your heart grow a little bigger, I don't know what will!
Morning finds. My littlest gal and big big boy. Nap time on Mama Lacey.
A bit of preschool excitement at circle time.
Worthy is the Lamb• Will always be one of my greatest 'whys' and gems. A little lamb, my treasure and my 'Mephibosheth' and my Jonathan. ❤ The reality of leaving this angels side once again in near one week is devastating, especially when I wish he was coming with me. Without any doubt is another stretch of faith, level of surrender and trust. Added prayer warriors are welcomed as we continue to believe for that which is unseen and petition for the miraculous in freedom and healing over this child's little life and precious soul.
"Gods nature is the critical part of our freedom."- Shawn Bolz
"...Hold fast like an anchor in the storm
For your love, we will rise and overcome
Through the fire
Hold fast my people and sing
Through peace and through suffering
All for the joy that it brings, to be free
It’s gonna cost us everything
To follow one Lord and King
True love endures everything
To be free
Hold fast, like an anchor in the storm
We will not be moved." -Josh Garrels
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” - Philippians 3:12-16
"They left and found things just as Jesus had told them." (Luke 22:13)