Archive for October, 2010

October 20, 2010

Returning to Ethiopia.

Dear Family and Friends,

If you had told me just a few weeks ago that I would be traveling back to the beautiful country of Ethiopia at the end of this year I would’ve told you you were crazy.  But I’m learning every day that God’s ways are not my own, and that His timing is not mine, either.  The doors continue to swing open and I am stepping out in faith.

When I returned from my trip with Mocha Club last summer, I already knew that I would go back to Ethiopia again someday.  I didn’t know when, but I knew that wasn’t the last time I’d stand upon Ethiopian soil.  God had instilled in me such a love for the people there.  There are days during which I am overwhelmed by how much I miss them and how very much I want to return.  I am thankful beyond words for the opportunity the Lord has given me this winter.

I have been accepted as a member of a team departing for Ethiopia on or around December 29th and returning on or around January 11th.  I will, once again, be spending time in Addis Ababa (the capital), Nazaret and Ambo.  While ministry plans are not yet set in stone, we will spend the majority of our time serving Women At Risk in both Addis and Nazaret.  Women At Risk provides spiritual, emotional and psychological counseling to former prostitutes while also providing job training.  While in Ambo, we will visit the Compassion school and work with the school children and street boys.  I will have the opportunity to see familiar faces and build upon relationships that began back in the summer of 2009.  That, to me, is an incredible blessing.  Our ministry plans will come together as my team and I have conference calls in the coming weeks.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from last time, it’s that not all will go according to plan, and flexibility is key.  I am so excited to see where God will lead us and how He will minister both to us and through us during our two weeks on the ground in Ethiopia.

Please join me in prayer as the trip approaches.  Pray for Jesus to be reflected by myself and my team.  Pray that the Ethiopian people would have open hearts to receive His love.  Pray that the Holy Spirit would give us the right words in each situation.  Pray that as a team we would be of one heart and mind, that we would maintain an attitude of humility and service, that we would have hearts that are willing and teachable.  God WILL change us.  He will challenge us, stretch us, mold us.  And He will uphold us and strengthen us through it all.  Pray that we would rest in those truths and that we would not try to do any of His work in our own strength.

Between now and my trip, I will need to raise a total of $3,050.  I know that’s nothing to God, and I trust that if His plan is for me to be a part of this trip, that the funds will surely follow.  If you feel led to support me financially, please visit https://www.mochaclub.org/africa-trips/, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Make A Donation” under Winter Ethiopia Trip: December 27th, 2010 – January 9th, 2011.  Enter my name in the first field (“Trip Member’s Name”) and fill out the rest.  If you’d prefer to write a check, please let me know and I will provide you with the information necessary to do so.  Please note that all donations are tax deductible.  To those of you who may have supported my first trip to Ethiopia with Mocha Club, I sincerely appreciate you and your generosity and understand if you are unable to support me financially this time around.  If you have any questions about finances, or the trip in general, please feel free to email or call me!

Thank you all in advance, from the bottom of my heart, for prayerfully and financially supporting me as I prepare for and go on this trip.  I thank God for each and every one of you.

During my first trip to Ethiopia I wrote in my journal, “I want to go in the direction He calls me and not be afraid of it.”  He is a God who answers prayers.  May He receive all of the glory.

Blessings,
Brittany

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

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October 5, 2010

A matter of trust.

I mentioned in a recent blog that I often start a post with a subject and a general outline in mind, and before I know it I’ve ended up elsewhere.  As of late, I’ve found that to be true in the lessons I’m learning from the Lord.

Recently, God laid it on my heart to take a certain matter one day at a time.  I have a tendency to look further down the road and attempt to predict the outcome.  Sometimes, what I think I see afar isn’t ideal, and so I start to experience fear and change my mind about what it is I “ought” to do.  Oh, sure, God has confirmed through His word and in various other capacities what He’s asking of me.  But no, I can’t possibly do it.  The future looks far too scary.

Needless to say, having that attitude and trying to predict what will or won’t happen as a result of my obedience has left me frustrated and has caused a sense of shame as the struggle perpetuates.

But then there’s that glorious truth: His mercies are new every morning, and His compassions fail not (See Lamentations 3:21-23).

The Lord has carried me through each day with that truth for the past couple of weeks.  I thought the lesson in all of it was to take it “one day at a time”.  While that may be partially true, the Lord, in His grace, is revealing an even bigger truth and lesson to be taken hold of:

He is trustworthy.

One day at a time means I do not worry about what’s waiting weeks, months and years down the road.  It means I trust in the goodness and grace of Jesus and in the fact that each and every detail of my life and the lives of others is laid bare before Him (Hebrews 4:13).  I don’t need to know everything, because God knows, and He holds my hand (Psalm 73:23, Isaiah 41:13).  He is trustworthy (Psalm 33:4).

The matter isn’t so much my obedience.  The matter isn’t about what I have or haven’t done at all.  It’s a matter of trust.  Do I trust in the knowledge, power, goodness and love of the Almighty God?  Do I believe His word when it says, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11)?  As I grow in trust, the obedience will be a natural overflow.  Taking it one day at a time is teaching me to trust, to stop reaching for answers and to merely walk in the grace and strength of my Savior daily.  He is faithful to remind me constantly that He knows me.  He knows what I think and feel and hope for.  He’s not ignorant of the things that I face daily (Psalm 31:7, 38:9).  He is with me.  He loves me.

He is trustworthy.