Saturday, January 17, 2009

Renewed...


The past 2.5 weeks have been a whirlwind. My poor, neglected blog is finally being put to use tonight :)

I have been blessed with many incredible host families since I last updated, and I wish it wasn't 1am right now, or else I'd take time to write more. For now, I want to share a neat "God thing" that occured this week. [Sidenote: I use the term "God thing" to explain an instance which is undeniably God at work. I discovered that terminology at age 13 while reading The Christy Miller series, in which the characters are constantly referring to "God things."]

Earlier this week, our team found out that we were in need of housing for Thursday night. It was incredibly last-minute, but World Help managed to set us up with a church in Wichita Falls which we had visited back in October. On Thursday MORNING, the church called around and found host families to keep us that same day!

The minute I met L'rona and Michael, I could sense their genuine excitement to have us. I soon discovered why: (here's the God-thing!) Michael is going to Africa on a short-term missions trip NEXT WEEK. Because of that, Wednesday night they prayed that God would SOMEHOW give them an opportunity to be around some African children (so that their two little girls could better understand the people whom their Dad will be witnessing to next week.)

Their prayers were literally answered the following morning when they woke up. L'rona received a phone call from a friend. The friend mentioned that two African children needed a house to stay in that night--and asked L'rona if she wanted to house them.

Needless to say, L'rona and Michael jumped at the opportunity and were astounded. "You and the girls were an answer to our prayer," they told me on Thursday afternoon. You can understand why I got goosebumps! Wed night, when they were praying for an opportunity for their daughters to interact with African children, they had never heard about us (Children of the World choir) and had no idea we were in town.

Zurufah, Maria, and I were incredibly blessed to stay in their home. They're an amazing couple, and I wish we had more time with them. Before I tucked the girls into bed, Michael pulled out his guitar, and we all sat in the living room and worshiped the Lord while singing, "Blessed Be the Name," "We Fall Down," and "Shout to the Lord." It uplifted my spirit, that's for sure.

God had us at their house for multiple reasons...It was amazing to see His fingerprints all over it! To top it all off, L'Rona put me on the phone with her older brother who started an orphanage in Kenya. We discussed my passion and desire to spend some time in Africa in the near future. Before hanging up the phone, he offered to pray for me. It was a prayer that completely reminded me that God wants nothing but the BEST for His Children.

Sometimes Africa feels so far away, but I felt renewed after the time we spent with L'Rona and Michael. I know that if I continue to trust the Lord, His timing and purpose will blow my mind. As my friend, Aaron, told me the other night: "It's as if God was telling you: 'You know that dream you have to go to Africa? I haven't forgotten...."

I'll leave you all with lyrics to the song, "Yours," by Steven Curtis Chapman. Christi played this song for me (knowing about my love for Africa) this summer when we were driving in North Carolina. This was before I even knew that I'd be spending nearly a year taking care of orphans from Uganda!


I walk the dirt roads of Uganda
I see the scars that war has left behind
Hope like the sun is fading
They're waiting for a cure no one can find
And I hear children's voices singing
Of a God who heals and rescues and restores
And I'm reminded
That every child in Africa is Yours

2 comments:

AJ said...

I am so glad i read this. JEHOVAH-JIREH! Ashley, You teach me i shouldn't be selfish with you as you share your big heart with God's people. Good luck with rest of the journey. I will remember this lesson always because of your faith:-)

Chelsea said...

I LOVE when God reminds us that he is completely all powerful and omniscient. He has not forgotten, he has your dreams as close to your heart as you do. This is wonderful; Ash. My excitement for you continues to grow :)