Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 8: Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

-Psalm 73:26
Thursday; July 7, 2011

So last night I finished journaling and went to get a shower!
Well...the water wouldn't turn on.
Apparently when the power went off last night, the water went off with it! I waited and waited for probably 30 minutes with Alex. We went downstairs to see if it would be fixed soon and they said it should be! Long story short, we waited even longer and they ended up saying it wouldn't be fixed before the morning, so I had to bathe in a bowl of water! Haha Alex was a sweetheart as always and helped me wash my hair by pouring water over my head while I was on my knees in the floor with my head hanging over a bowl! I was so ready to get to bed last night, I was in such an awful mood! But after I finished washing in the bowl, I got out and Alex read me Psalm 119 and I was in a better mood.

I went to bed after that and woke up 15 minutes before my alarm, which was good because it gave me some time to just sit and think about this past week. Just reflect on what's all happened. The kids. The joy. The change that needs to take place inside of me.

I got a text from my dad and it was the best news I've gotten all week. Literally.

Before I left Africa my mom told me that Leona, a woman that lives near my school that I've been getting to know and hanging out with, had called her. Leona is what you would call a "ragin' Cajun". She's from Louisiana and is a Hurricane Katrina victim. She lost nearly everything in the storm and moved down to Tuscaloosa with her husband ready for something new. She's been here almost 6 years and since then her husband has passed away. Leona is Jewish and has a heart of gold. Not to mention quite the cook! 

She has such a special strength about her. I love her stories about the old days when she worked in a hotel restaurant, and all the interesting (and famous!) people she was able to meet!
Anyway, since I've met her I've been praying for her. Particularly within the past couple of months. 
Rob Cain, the leader of our group here, was my Bible teacher this past year. One day in class he talked about faith and the power of prayer. He said something that has stuck with me since. He talked about when our prayers feel like they stop at the ceiling, we need to stop and evaluate our level of faith and actual belief in what we're praying for. He referred to James 4:3 and then the conversation turned to us thinking about people who we know don't have Christ in their life. He said if we would pray actually BELIEVING that God cares and that He WILL answer, then that is when He shows up and shows out! Rob told us to pray with the expectation that God will answer. With a BIG answer!

Two people automatically came to my mind while he was talking: my grandfather and Leona. Since then I've prayed to God asking that He show the truth to her and my grandfather and that He would reveal Himself and stop hiding! And then I figured I would do exactly what Rob said, and actually BELIEVE that God would do something! So when I prayed, I would thank Him in advance for His answer! I didn't pray every day, but my prayers did become more consistent over the past month.
Back to the story. 

My mom told me that Leona had called her saying that she had come to a crossroad in her life and needed someone to talk to. She said, "It's not about marriage. It's not about a man. It's about my religion."  


We pray for things we want, but do we actually believe they will happen? I decided that when I would pray, instead of going through the motions of a usual request, I would ASK. Ask as in BELIEVE something would happen. And it did!!
You hear these stories happen, but when it happens to you first-hand, faith and trust in His plans become real. They solidify. I told my mom I would be praying for her while I was gone because I knew the spiritual warfare would just be ridiculous. So I did randomly throughout the week and the day that her and my mom were going to meet up for lunch. 

SO! The news.

I got a text from my dad that said,
"Mama had lunch with Leona today, and she told Mamma that she had accepted Christ!"

OUR GOD IS ALIVE PEOPLE! I about had a breakdown. This woman that I love will be rejoicing with me in Heaven! Hallelujah! 
I can't wait to get home to talk to her.

SO! I just looked through my journal and today's entry is already 4.5 pages long, and I haven't even written about today yet!
I woke up with some extra time, prayed, and THANKED God for what He did in Leona!
Me and Amb got up at 3:30 A.M. and we were both packed, dressed, and ready by 4:15ish. We did amazing basically! Haha so we went downstairs, left our bags in the lobby, and went to breakfast! I didn't eat because I wasn't hungry at all. After that we loaded up and rode on THE bumpiest road ever for 3 hours! It. Was. Crazy. But hilarious at the same time! Me and Amber couldn't do anything but laugh. 

We finally got to the safari place and there were monkeys all over the place! A girl in our group fed one an Oreo, so of course they all came. 

I was so scared because they were all starting to come closer and closer and surround us! Jumping on logs, climbing and sitting, on the vans, so I got in the van with Robyn and Alex because they were all over the place! But! We forgot our safari van roof was popped open, and one of the monkeys came in our van and took Rob's peanut butter crackers! It was SO scary!

After screaming and holding each other, we got out, took a group picture, and set out on our safari. It was so beautiful. We saw tons of zebra, water buffalo, water bucks, impala, flamingos, storks, 2 lions, giraffes, rhinos, koalas, ostriches, baboons galore, and a crazy looking lizard! The scenery was beautiful.

We rode up this mountain and stopped at a gazebo/picnic spot and sat and looked over this breathtaking view. It was absolutely remarkable.

We stopped and ate lunch at a super nice hotel that was in the actual game park.
It would be a great honeymoon spot :)

I got fish fingers with slaw and french fries. It was INCREDIBLE! The fries tasted American! It was delicious!

And now we're back on the road for another 3 hours!

**Just for a mental note, if you were wondering, it's a wonder car wrecks aren't the leading cause of death in this country. These people are NUTS! They pass each other with cars coming head-on like no big deal! 

I'll write later tonight! Hopefully! ;)

10:30 P.M.

We finally got here!! Finally!
We got our rooms and OH my goodness they look like HEAVEN.
Two separate beds, a toilet that flushes, hot water, and an actual shower! :)
We ate dinner (I just had some pasta and chicken) and then came to bed!

I took a shower tonight and water is EVERYWHERE! It got alllll over the floor in the bathroom and is leaking out into our room! And neither me nor Amber know how! The curtain was completely closed while the shower was running! I got toilet paper trying to sop it, except we didn't have a garbage can! So, I did what any normal person would do and decided to flush it!

Bad idea.

Now the toilet is clogged.....woops :)
But it's ok! Some of the staff are supposed to be coming to tell us why the shower went all crazy and unclog the toilet for us :)
Tomorrow we get to sleep an hour later and we are going to travel about an hour away to paint in the slums! After that I think we're going to a market and then back here for a shower and then the restaurant Carnivore!!

Yay! :) I'm excited!!


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