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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Week 1 Update (email edition)

[This is what I sent out in an email—so I’m committed to writing at least once a week on this thing. :) ]

Hello, all!

I’ve been in South Africa for exactly one week…I got here around 9:30 last Sunday!

My first impressions of the city were how large it was as I flew in. It just seemed to go on for such a long distance. They let the other intern, whom I live with, and I rest for the first two days and we went to work on Wednesday at TWR.

The thing I have been struck by the most in being here is the security measures that people take in their day-to-day lives to be safe. Around each home is a wall of some kind which is generally topped with razor wire, electric wire, spikes or a combination of the three. Each driveway has an electric gate to get in and there are certain strategies for entering and leaving their home to ensure further protection from hijackers and robbers. Needless to say, this is not like small town Arkansas. I honestly have never felt true fear until I came here.

This is what the Lord has really worked on me with, though, and I have already seen such growth from this experience of real fear. Last week, a combination of jet lag, medication, and seeing so many security measures made it impossible to even think of sleeping because I was terrified someone would come in and hurt me. I’ve never been so afraid in my life. I asked many friends to pray for me, though, and the Lord overcame my fears, eventually. Last night I spent time looking into the Bible to see what it said about fear—I knew it had different verses, though I had never really thought much of it because I had never had a reason to be afraid before.

Here are some that helped me:

Psalm 4:8: I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Romans 8:37-39: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hebrews 13:6: So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Psalm 91: (All of it :) )

Lastly, Philippians 4:7 is a great verse about the peace that comes from God when we don’t worry:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is one thing the Lord has really impressed upon me so far. I haven’t got to do much work at TWR, yet, but will very soon. I will be announcing on the radio and will hopefully do some live announcing very soon. I’ve been able to watch and listen to the other announcers do their work and it’s amazing to think that the words they say reach nearly half the continent of Africa. Who knows who is listening and having their heart turned towards the Lord?

This ministry is really bringing the gospel to people who have never heard it before and discipling and encouraging those who do know the Lord. Many Africans think highly of TWR and work hard to let them know that. A text message can be expensive and internet isn’t as easily accessible here and many listeners are poor and/or outside SA, but they will text TWR or get on the internet to request a song that is important to them. They go out of their way to do these things, and I think this shows the importance and effectiveness of this ministry.

I am so blessed to be able to be a part of this, even the smallest part, and I know I will be forever changed by the experiences I have here. It has been an eye opener about poverty, unreached people groups, safety, and culture. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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Day 2

[Picture coming soon!] This is my home for 3 months. :D

My “Day 2” started when I woke up. I visited my “house mother,” Juilet, who works for TWR also. She and her husband, Winfred, are both great. My roommate and I live right next to their house in a flat. It’s attached but divided, and it’s very cool. And there’s a DOG. :D

I’m so glad to have a dog to play with. hehe Also my roommate, Ashley, is super. We’ll get along great. :) We even want to switch internships for a day. ;)

The first person from TWR I met, though, was the leader of the TWR-Africa division, Dr. Mbennah. I didn’t actually know how important he was when I met him. I may have been intimidated if I had known actually. haha. We happened to be on the same flight from Amsterdam, though we didn’t see each other until we were picking up our luggage at the carousel here. It was a nice way to start my time within South Africa. He definitely cares about all aspects of TWR…even the lowly interns.

I’ve also met my boss—he picked Mr. Mbennah and I up from the airport and tonight we had dinner with his lovely family. We talked lots about differences between America and South Africa. I’m excited to use new words! No cool accent for me yet, though. Mr. Burkhuizen also took Ashley and I to the TWR offices and we got a short tour of Jo’burg. Both made me more excited to see the city and start my internship.

Day 1

[There is a picture to go with this. But I can’t get it to upload yet. I will soon!]

While this picture makes it seem that I read my Bible and was very holy, I did not spend all of my time on my flights reading it.  I also watched like 3 movies, TV shows, ate everything the flight attendants gave me (which was a lot), read a book about Woodstock, and chatted up airplane neighbors.

21 hours

That’s how many total hours I was on 3 different airplanes. Airline food isn’t so bad, though, and you can meet interesting people. I didn’t mind flying at all, actually. On the first flight I met a girl who was flying to Atlanta to see her boyfriend. It was cute. On the second I met a Sudanese man in his late 20s or so. He had a very interesting life (an 8 hour flight allows for lots of talking) and he studied at a university in South Africa. This was a good coincidence that the Lord placed for me. I was happy to hear of his experience here and that, yes, I’ll be safe here.  On the third plane ride from Amsterdam to Johannesburg I sat next to an empty seat and on the other side of that was a pastor from Pittsburg on his way to teach people in Malawi how to use water filters. He was super cool…he was arrested once in Puerto Rico or Cuba (I forgot) for preaching too much. He said it was no big deal. ha

So this technically might be two days of stuff that happened. But it all felt like the same day to me.

Psalms 143:8

Psalms 143:8
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.

I stole this from the Air1 Verse of the Day, but it is an awesome verse and something we should constantly be thinking, especially the last part. When I first read it I thought it was applicable to my SA work I’m about to do… However, this is something I should be thinking every single day no matter what I do, not just when I think something is “Godly.” “Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” Every day I should say this to the Lord. It’s like the opposite of Proverbs 3:6 in a way…There trusting in the Lord is commanded with a promise that He will direct our paths. In this one the writer declares he hands over his life and confidently states what the Lord does in this equation.

I think I want this to be my a theme of my trip and, even further, my life. What else can I depend on but the Lord? Who can make the guarantee that they won’t let me down when I put my trust in them? Who loves unfailingly?

I listened to this song like 10 times today. :)

Light by The Rocket Summer

All I needed was a light
In the darkest place
I’ve ever been in all my life
As I try to find my way
And the changing seasons of my life
And my eyes don’t see
The things I love have run their course
Are they done
Are they just beginning

And I’m old enough to know
That time doesn’t move slow enough
And young enough to know
That I can’t ever be too old enough to trust you
Higher and higher
I wanna go there with you
Some say your fire, your fire
Is through
And I don’t wanna think that way

So you lost your job and lost the girl
And you crushed your soul
Around you standing out of reach
Before you know
So you wet your? finger
Hold it up
But there’s no wind there
Telling you where you where you should go
So you try, try to trust
While you bear it

And I’m old enough to know
That time doesn’t move slow enough
And young enough to know
That I can’t ever be too old enough to trust you
Higher and higher
I wanna go there with you
Some say your fire, your fire
Is through
But I don’t…

I am Yours, do what You wish
I am Yours, I am Yours
And I know this
Whatever happens next
Is in Your hands, in Your plans
Nothing less
Every day there is a choice
And through the joy
Through the pain
I will rejoice
I am Yours, do what You wish
I am Yours, I am Yours
And I know this

Save me
‘Cause I need it
And I can’t help but feel desperate
My desires, they seem
Were coming to their endings
But I will trust it’s not the end
But a great beginning

I leave tomorrow morning. I’m nervous now. But the Lord is creating a great beginning.