Thursday, March 22, 2012

I will follow you

This is our precious 5 year old daughter. She is smart and sweet and thoughtful. She struggles with God's calling on our lives, to be living here in Zambia. She loves our family that we have left behind. She misses her grandparents. She misses her many aunts and uncles. She misses her cousin who is three months younger than her. She has lots of cousins and she loves and misses each of them alot. She misses her friends. We have left a lot behind.

While we were home over the holidays we enjoyed listening to the local Christian radio station. Chris Tomlin's Song "I will Follow You" played often and she heard it quite a few times and fell in love with it. It is a great song. She asked me to load it on her little game player and she went around singing and dancing to the song.

The night before we left Texas to come back to Zambia, she asked me quite a few difficult questions and shared her heart with me. She told me, "Mom, it is so hard to leave my friends, because I think about them all of them time. I know they are getting bigger everyday and I wonder if they ever think about me. I miss them and I know they are growing up without me. What if they forget about me? How long is God going to want us to live in Africa? What if He never calls us to go home?"

With a broken heart, I did the best I could to comfort her and assure her that the people she loves think about her all of the time too, just like she thinks about them. I told her that God is good and He does good and we will be in Zambia as long as it is HIS BEST. I don't think God will have us live in Zambia forever but, if he does, then it is what is HIS BEST for her and for each person in our family. And then I reminded her of 'the song' she had been singing non-stop. I told Elliana what a brave girl she was. Even though she was sad, afraid, and unsure she was choosing to follow God. She was loving and serving the children closest to God's heart, those the world has abused and forgotten, the orphan. I told her how proud God must be of her for choosing to go where He has called us to go.

I was not totally sure she would actually get on the plane, but she did. And she is doing really well. We got here and she said to me, "I am glad we came back here. I really do like it." What a sweet gift from the Lord that was to me as her mommy. I watch her daily process through missing the people that she loves. I watch her try to process things that are to big for her mind to comprehend, like children dying far too young and unspeakable poverty. I watch God stretch her to love people who are uncomfortable for her to love. And I encourage her daily.

My prayer for her and for my 3 other children is that God would use them to help push back the darkness that is ever-present and that God would give our kids a passion for the gospel and for the truth and freedom that it brings to those who hear it.

May you be encouraged by the bravery of a five year old girl, who although afraid, is walking out God's calling on her life.

I will Follow
Chris Tomlin

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow...

All your ways are good
All your ways are sure
I will trust in you alone
Higher than my side
High above my life
I will trust in you alone

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I'll love
How you serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you

Light unto the world
Light unto my life
I will live for you alone
You're the one I seek
Knowing I will find
All I need in you alone,
in you alone

In you there's life everlasting
In you there's freedom for my soul
In you there joy, unending joy
and I will follow

Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet Agness

Agnes is 12 years old, in grade 5, and lives in Kenyama.  Agness lives with her father and step mother.  Her father had an affair and the mother moved to the village with the children.  When the father remarried he came and got the children and now she lives with her 3 brothers and sisters and two stepbrothers and sisters. She sleeps on the floor in the sitting room of their home. Her father pours tar for roads and they go to school at Jatisha Community School . Aggie loves math and wants to be a doctor. Her family goes to church at the Union Apostolic Church and became a Christian in 2010 with a pastor Chanda at their church.  She has a beautiful smile and a sweet disposition.  Her friend is Loveness.   

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Meet Betty...

Betty is 11 years old and is in grade 5.  She lives with her mom and dad and goes to a government school.  She is last born of 6 children.  Her dad works in a shop in Kamwala and her mom sells shoes in Sueto Market.  Her favorite subject is math and she wants to be a doctor.  She likes playing soccer and she feels loved by her mom and dad.  She is scared of witchcraft and she sometimes has bad dreams.  Her grandmother does witchcraft.  Betty is a Christian and was led to the Lord by her pastor.  She wishes that she could see God face to face and wants to learn how to read.  She feels very sad because she does not have enough clothes and she asked the Lord to give her shoes.  She was thrilled when the Lord granted her school shoes!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Meet Gloria...

Gloria lives with her mom and dad and goes to Bauphne Government School.  She likes school and when she completes school when she helps her mother and family.  She likes English and wants to be a lawyer.  She has 4 other brother and sisters.  Her parents go the Apostle Church and her mom and dad Christians.  The father works as a gardener and the mother sells tomatoes and vegetables.  She does not have a good pair of shoes and has had the same school uniform since grade 3.  She is sometimes able to eat three times a day and sometimes once a day.  She feels loved by her father and knows that he prays for her and asks the people from church to come and pray for her when she is sick.  She loves cleaning the house and has several close friends.  She often has bad dreams and when she does have them, she will wake up and begin praying.