For the One

Continually people ask me about the mission field. I hear questions of “what’s it like?” “Is it amazing?” “Do you tell so many people about Jesus?” “What do you do?” Mostly, along with each of these questions there’s a statement of resounding, “That’s so cool.” “I would love to do that.” “You get to travel to so many places.”  And I normally smile and laugh and agree. It is amazing, and I do get to go to some cool places, but that’s not the reason I love and am thankful to do what I do. The funny thing is, part of me laughs because most of the people I’m talking to also do these things, but in a different capacity.

 Over the last two years, my faith journey has been tremendous by nothing that I did. To say it was or is ever easy would be completely smashing the immeasurable grace God has poured out over my life. He allowed me to be saved from sin, other’s sin, bad choices, bad consequences, and overall has been in a process of redeeming so much hurt from my past. Recently in a sermon from someone who I hold very close to my heart, we were asked, “Who is Jesus to you?” I immediately said “Savior.” And he continued to press in after a few more answered and said, “if Jesus is all the things we say He is, we need to live that out.”  If Jesus is my Savior, how can I not walk around with joy in my heart wanting to give that gift to every single person?

Therein lies the answer to the questions above about what I do and if it’s amazing. It’s all those things, and more. But, I didn’t have to come all the way to Africa to do it. I’ve learned a lot in the last few years about being faithful where we are. Pressing in. Doing the hard work to love others and really love them in any season and any place of life. It’s hard. It’s uncomfortable when our plans don’t line up with what we expected out of life. But one thing I do know about Jesus being my Savior is that He died for my sins, so I could go on living life and loving people how He would have wherever I am.

I’m amazed at grace and redemption every time I open my eyes in Africa.

Immediately when I landed, I felt home. Peace washed over me like waves in the ocean and I felt renewed, amazed, and incredibly thankful of the gift of being here. I walked back into family and friends and it’s nothing short of amazing that God gave me more than I could have imagined or expected to be able to come back to Africa to spread His hope and love.

 Recently, in our farm community of Darling, South Africa we were in a small church service on one of the farms. I counted the number of people at the service that were not the missionaries, or staff of the organization we work with. 11. I kind of stood amazed because a lot of times we think of large gatherings and big buildings for church. I stood amazed that as I heard them worship the songs we know but in a way only you could hear in Africa, that the sound was loud and I could feel God was in there. We drove about 45 minutes to get to this church and it wouldn’t have mattered if it were 11 people or 1,100 people – we would go for them anyway. God was with us, before us, and after us.

As I start life again in Africa and this journey God has brought me on, He is constantly reminding me to live out who I say and believe that He is.  He is my Redeemer, my Healer, my Savior, my Author, my Maker, and so many others. If I know these things to be true, I want to live that out with my whole being. I want to love others so well that they only can see Jesus in me and what He has done for all of us. I want to remember that even if it’s only for one person that I was sent to earth to spread Hope to, I will love the best I can for the one. Wherever we are, we can love. We can remember Hope. We can step forward in faith without seeing the whole picture because the One was sent for us.

 

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One of the farms we were on

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Sunrise in Darling  

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Our farm and ministry center - Jeria Sending