I learned just how important the power of words really are. With our words we can speak life or death, and sometimes we may not know which we are doing. I had quite a negative beginning as a local tried to “prophesy” over me about my future. This is a new concept to me to begin with, but I do know and believe that prophecy is given to bring hope and encouragement, not make you fearful of your heavenly father and scared of the future. So be careful what you say and pray over people. Satan will try and use whatever words come out of our mouth to bring us down.
After much prayer and team encouragement though, I was able to put this in the past and rely on God’s voice and not others’. One such great opportunity was while sharing my testimony at a local high school youth meeting. I had felt God’s prompting to share and had been preparing something about how I’ve been learning about God’s Fatherly Love. But as we were driving to the place, I began to feel unsettled about this and began to sense God wanted me to share about forgiveness and my journey and breakthrough in this area. I was not prepared, so I quickly thought up something in my head right before I was to share. It turned out to be a total God-thing as the topic that night for the youth was on forgiveness and relationship reconciliation. So cool to see how God moves and works and an encouragement to me to really listen and obey God’s voice in all things!
Livingston days were pretty laid back, moving from different places like local orphanges, hospitals, schools and villages. But after 3:30, it was football time! With a wide-open dirt pitch and 30 some kids running around barefoot, we Muzungus (white man) split up and joined the teams. For me this was a great experience as I enjoyed showing up the boys J, and they enjoyed making fun of one another when I pulled a nice move. However, it also was an eye opening experience to just how blessed we are as females in North America. Not too many girls play soccer overseas-they are not really given much opportunity and are looked down upon as being weak. So I pray my interaction during those weeks on the soccer pitch was a positive impact to them that women too are created with God given abilities.
Another amaing part of Livingston was meeting Jeanette. She and her husband own a private orphanage and have taken in 9 abandoned children and are looking to take in up to 30. They have become “mother and father” to these beautiful children and having only been married for a year, they have taken on quite a task, but are doing so with joy and obedience to God’s calling. Jeanette was a great impact to me as she talked about her childhood dream of moving to Africa and helping kids. She did not grow up Christian, but now that she has met God and has stepped out in His calling, she can see how that dream was given by her heavenly Father. God has a dream for all of us-both the believers and the not-yet believers and it gives me great hope that the dreams I felt when I was younger do fall into a bigger plan! We have a heavenly father who loves us and cannot wait to reveal more and more dreams to us!
And Lastly, ZIG-ZAG, our beloved friend. Zig Zag is amazing and has really humbled me and given me a renewed passion for kids and building up a strong generation of youth who want to change the world. He is such a kind, giving person and a talented artist. One that I believe God will use in many ways. Whether we were elephant hunting with him, walking through sketchy markets, meeting his friends, playing soccer or playing with kids he was a great friend to all of us. We were so blessed to have the chance to spend our full 4 weeks with him. He just seemed to appear in our lives and the only way to explain it all was God and his perfect timing! When we looked back we saw just how much God was orchestrating everything. One such example-we had prayed as a team in may where we should spend the opening day of world cup. We had the option to fly to Durban early and be in the S. Africa for the opening ceremony festivities; or we could stay in Zambia an extra day and invite people we had met to share in the ceremonies with us. We felt we should stay in Zambia even though it seemed “cooler” to be in the host country, and as it turned out, we spent that evening at Zig Zag’s family’s house, got to pray with Him and His family and really had a great evening. God is amazing-once again, one little step of obedience in hearing His voice, and we were truly blessed.