Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Abundant Prosperity of Obedience


Life has been so abundant, so rich here. People here say you go on roller coasters of emotions… weeks of feeling like you’re on a honeymoon with God just freefalling and loving the nearness of his love, his presence, and the people He has surrounded you with. And then they describe some weeks and days of culture shock… being afraid, missing family and home. I can honestly say I have been in this beautiful honeymoon phase every moment and day since my arrival and it feels like it will never end. And though I’m sure there will be times of missing home, I believe it will actually never end as long as I’m here. Bottom line is one year ago it would have never even crossed my mind that God would have picked ME and said “Emilie, come away with me.” … to AFRICA. I NOW get to experience, taste and see all the abundant fruit here from every seed sown in this last year, and my life. Seeds of surrending my life. Seeds of saying “God, do whatever you want to do with me”.  Seeds of being content in the seasons when I think nothing is happening, but pressing into him and setting my hope on Him anyways. Seeds of hearing his call, and though terrified, saying  “Yes, I’ll trust you. I’ll walk confidently into the unknown, because you are good.”. Therefore most of all, seeds of obedience. Seeds of obedience, is the exact fruit I am tasting and living in right now.

The Deuteronomy 28 chapter entitled, “Blessings for Obedience” has been my favorite chapter to dig in and grab hold of lately. BECAUSE I obeyed, therefore I AM blessed!
Deuteronomy 28
English Standard Version (ESV)
Blessings for Obedience
28 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 11 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God.

 The Lord has been so faithful to this promise. Words cannot describe the spiritual wealth and richness I have,  He is so great!
The people here are incredible. I absolutely adore them. Not only are Africans absolutely dangerously beautiful, and fantastically hilarious, but they are abundant in love, in friendship and community. I couldn’t believe how close I felt to them within a couple days because they exceed in treating you like family from the moment you meet them!

I thought I’d be good to write some highs and lows of being here, since I haven’t quite done that yetJ
Cons:
16 girls sharing two bathrooms and two showers and one room. Enough said. Luckily that was only for a day in a half before we concluded that it really wasn’t working and it was time to split up.
Mosquitoes. And massive African spiders. And ferocious African beetles. And more mosquitoes. And rats. And ginormous flies. And more mosquitoes. And a more mosquitoes. And more. They really spice up my quiet time in the mornings by trying to enter my eyeballs. I want them all to die.
This is more of a challenge than a con; there are 6 African girls in our room. They are the absolute sweetest; some of the most God loving, people loving human beings I have ever met. The challenge is that they hardly speak any English, so it’s hard to understand each other. But good news!! We’ve found a common ground of the language French! Mom, if you’re reading this I know you’re all giddy and excited. The school stresses that they need to learn English, but for any words they don’t understand, French does the trick!
Jet lag... absolutely terrible. Makes your days 10 times longer.
Rice, beans and potatoes are for lunch and dinner everyday. I don’t find this a terrible thing yet, because it’s food, I’m thankful and I find it actually delightfully delicious. But I’ve heard from previous students about the “beans and rice meltdown” that is to come... oh dear. So I guess that is to come as a con, but I’m loving it now.
The culture differences have been hard to get used to. I’m so thankful that the Africans here have the boldness and confidence to speak the truth in love, because I have done countless things to them oblivious to it being an insult! The other day in class I finished my cup of tea, put the empty cup in front of my friend David, who is an African, and walked away. Luckily I was confronted later that that particular action meant that I was saying he was inferior to me, and they just laughed about it. But it broke my heart that I did that, and have done many things like that, even though I have no idea.
 Internet is down on our base until late March, and we’re only allowed to go to town every other weekend which is where we get to use internetL So I am sorry about that!


Pros:
The sunrise.. absolutely indescribable. Wakeup call is 5:55 am every morning in order to have our individual quiet times with our Creator at 6:00. Sunrise happens right at about 6:20 and it is absolutely incredible and magical. No sunrise is the same, and each one is just breath taking.
The worship here! So. So. SO fun! Nothing but voices, guitars and hand drums. It’s so free and exhilarating. Some of the best worship I have ever been in.. God’s presence is most definitely there and there is so much joy.
THE RAIN! I’m sure some would find this a con but I love the rain already… in Africa it’s a massive downpour. And it’s wonderful because it happens to be beautifully warm and sunny, and in the same day a rain storm will happen. I love it.
The people here make me feel like I’m a home. They’re ridiculously loving and kind… so warm and welcoming. It’s like they’re already so full of love that when they meet it it’s just an abundant overflow. I love them. All.
The natural state of this country is BEAUTIFUL. The sunrises. The life. The plants. The land. Everything! And God has been putting the nature to very good use with me hereJ  I can say that for this past week, he has spoken something different to me every day, through his creation around me. Such as the birds- The Matthew 6 command of watching them and how God cares for them, therefore not being anxious. The refreshing clean air that is remarkably different in the prayer garden- His breath. He is near to me always. Hundreds of lilies falling around me as I was alone with God in the prayer garden- the verse in song of songs 2 proclaiming his love for me as his lily amoung the thorns, his darling amoung the maidens. And that is just a few examplesJ He is so good to me.
Allow me to say there are SO many more pros than cons, but I don’t possibly have enough time to write them all down!
I love you all and miss you! Thank you for your prayers, love and care! I am so blessed!

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful blog,Emilie! I love the scriptures you quoted. God is so rich in blessing His obedient children!
    And YES, I am all GIDDY and EXCITED!!! God is so creative :)
    The Africans are absolutely dangerously attractive... Surely you are talking about women, right? Just remember what I told you before you left :)

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  2. Paul Ely, The Dad!!!February 25, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    You forgot to mention the Bats and snakes. The bats actually eat mosquitos around you, so they are blessed with an excellent navagation system that keeps them from hitting you!!!

    I am at Starbucks and it is snowing!!! Fun!!!

    Today's my "surprise" party... Mike spilled it when he wished me a happy birthday and looked forward to "tipping a few" with me this weekend!!! Catherine is mad at him!!!

    I went to Wilsonville yesterday and abpout 12 people sponsored a lunch for my boss, Don and I. They go to businesses and pray. There were a BUNCH of direct words for Don and I, prophecy abounded. They're Bethel trained. I'll probably join leadership and start doing it here. Yippee!!! I love you, my daughter, "The Girl That Says YES To God!!!"

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  3. So beautiful, dear friend!

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