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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Sand Upon Sand

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I’ve been in Africa for six days now and in that time I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve learned the proper Zambian greeting (special handshake and clap, sometimes a hug), how to say, “Hi, how are you?” and “I’m fine, thanks,” in Lozi, and that I’m finally getting used to the cadence and rhythm of “Zamglish” (Zambian English).

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These are part of my girls (there were 50) from the youth conference Monday and Tuesday. They’re gorgeous, now I pray they embrace the truly beautiful One.

I’ve learned how to properly eat a traditional Zambian meal (pictured below… it was delicious) and how to talk to people as we go down the road.

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That is most definitely a fish eye.

I now know Zambians are the warmest, most friendly people I’ve ever encountered and that the children are adorable and love to laugh at my crazy faces and games.

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Can I please take them home with me?

I know it hasn’t rained since April and it won’t rain again until October.

And I know that here in Mongu sand is everywhere.

Roads of sand.
Driveways of sand.
Yards of sand (no grass).
Sand on my legs.
Sand on the floor.
Sand in my shoes.
Sand in the shower.

As it's been firmly established this week, I'm whiter than rice. This is what my legs and feet look like (complete with shoe lines) after a few hours outside. The black sand is real, y'all.

As it’s been firmly established this week, I’m whiter than rice. This is what my legs and feet look like (complete with shoe lines) after a few hours outside. The black sand is real, y’all.

The sand is everywhere.

But, as I was sitting on the back porch this week looking at the back”yard” of sand, I noticed something.

Paul and Velda (the missionaries from our church that we’re staying with) have fruit trees growing around the brick fence.

There are papayas and bananas and even sugarcane. It’s beautiful.

But it’s in sand.

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“Whoever planted these must have dug down deep and planted the trees in dirt, right?” my pastor asked Paul.

“No,” Paul said. “It grows like that.”

277zambiajulyThese fruit trees are literally growing in the desert. It’s unbelievable.

Only the Lord can bring life from dust.

Here, in a Zambian backyard, God’s creation is pouring forth speech and day by day declaring His glory. The glory of a Creator who made everything out of nothing, a man out of dust and a woman out of man, and a redemption story that cannot be stopped.

He is amazing.

May He receive exaltation from every speck of our dust.

(For more photos, ministry updates and African excitement, check out my facebook photo album and work blog.)

 

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