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Hello, I am a mother of three living with my husband in Africa. I have been blogging for seven years but still find myself very technologically challenged. I make lots of mistakes, but life is a journey. Come join me on the journey!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Glueing Fruit on my Tree

About that conference I attended last week for the leaders over the Protestant schools, they had some interesting illustrations that have stuck with me. 

The first was, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
This I had heard but someone added, “But there are not enough freezers to keep the elephant preserved until we can eat it, so we need to get busy eating.” This was to emphasize the urgency with which we need to work to improve these schools for the sake of the children and the glory of the Lord. 

The second illustration struck me personally. It was a picture of two trees, one with no fruit and one with lots of fruit. The question was made, “How do you get fruit on both trees? Do you cut fruit from the one and glue it to the one with none?” Obviously that sounds ridiculous! The fruit would die. Instead we need to change something about the environment of the tree without to encourage it to grow like the fruitful tree. 

It is ridiculous to think about cutting off fruit and glueing it on to the other. However, I have been guilty of doing that very thing in my own Christian walk. I have seen others with a meek countenance and read of its virtue and tried to make myself be meek in my response to others. It never seems to work very well. I was trying to glue fruit onto my tree. Instead, what I should have been doing was seeking how to make the changes and praying for the work of the Spirit to bring about real change. 

If you are like me and are trying to glue fruit onto your tree, just stop. Instead let us commit together to seek the Spirit for how we can grow and be fruitful. 

Nothing is Wasted!

I knew I was overdue for a post, but I did not realize how overdue. It has been a busy couple of months. We have been working hard at learning language, and I would venture to say pretty successful at doing so. The girls have adjusted to being in a school setting, though middle school for girls is just rough no matter where you are. They are all coming into their own personalities and strengths, and sometimes they clash, a lot. Life is not the same without William here on a daily basis, but we are only four weeks away from having all of our family under one roof again, provided the visas in our passports come back on time. 

Rich and I have also begun to see the purpose for which God brought us here. One of Rich’s roles will be to work with volunteer teams, which we so enjoyed helping with in Senegal. He will be serving as the urban strategist for the team, since our work keeps us in the city while all of our teammates are busy traveling, so our time in Dakar will come in handy. Another role of ours will be to work with local churches to disciple their members and thus reach their neighborhoods. We have been attending a French speaking service most of our Sundays, but we have also been able to attend Congolese churches with services in Lingala at least once a month. Rich’s propensity to learn languages, at least to greet, makes it easy for him to pick up on Lingala, even while we are still learning French. 

As for me, I knew coming into the work here would somehow relate to children. With over half of the millions of people in this city being children under the age of 18, there would be many to reach. In addition, we knew there would be street children, which we also were prepared for by Senegal. Months before our arrival, our supervisor began casting vision to the churches to improve their Sunday School programs, to really teach the children His Word. This week I had an opportunity to attend a conference to train leaders over the Protestant schools in how to transform and improve, such that God would be glorified in the schools. This is an area that our supervisor has a vision for us to be involved. Did I mention that my Masters is in Christian Education? Though it has laid dormant for a while, it seems that God has chosen this moment to utilize that degree. 

Nothing is wasted with the Lord! When you do not see why you go through something or feel like you wasted your time on a degree or living in a particular place, God can use it if we will offer it to Him. Nothing is wasted!