Saturday, May 03, 2008

Update from our friend Colleen on the World Race

Here is the latest from Colleen Foley, our friend who is currently on the AIM "World Race" service trip around the world. Please check the link to her blog for photos and more updates. It sounds like she could also use some more support as she wraps up the trip in August and needs funds for things such as her flight home! (You can support her through the following link: http://colleenfoley.theworldrace.org.)

From her time in Africa:
"Botswana is amazing. It has by far been my favorite time in Africa. God has made it clear that this is where He has wanted us all along. Since we have been in Africa, we have had the freedom to hear from God and follow where He wants us as a team. This has been a really amazing experience because it has allowed us to just trust Him and follow Him as a team. I will never forget the way God closed and open doors to get us here. There hasn't been a World Race team in Botswana yet, and God clearly has plans for the World Race and Botswana. While we were at Alabanza (outside Pretoria), waiting to make our next move (initially Lestotho, but God closed that door), God opened up a door in Botswana with a woman named Mama Elizabeth. She lives in South Africa, but was willing to travel to Botswana to serve with us and her grandson who is a pastor here. We were all excited and thankful to hear this news. We traveled by bus to Botswana, met up with Pastor Musa (Mama Elizabeth's grandson) and God gave us excitement and joy for what He has in store for our two weeks here.

Since we have been here, I have been amazed by the people here. Their hospitality, their generosity, their yearning and love for the Lord and His presence, and their love for each other. This is the most amazing example of real community I have ever seen. It has challenged me in the way I love, in the way I pray, in the way I seek God, in the way I reach out to people. When I hear them pray for their country is has pushed me to pray for my country. When I see them spend hours on their knees praising God and crying out for His presence, it has pushed me to seek His face more each day. I am humbled by their devotion. I am amazed by Jesus in them...and as I told them on Sunday morning, I can see it in their eyes that they love the Lord.

Lately I have been praying about a passage that I see lived out here... "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God" (2 Corinthians 14-17).

These people are the fragrance of life because they want to see Jesus change hearts, restore lives, and revive their country...and most of all, they just want Him.

A few days ago Mama Elizabeth took our team to a hospital so we could pray for the sick and talk with people. I was a little nervous because hospitals are hard for me to visit...they bring back difficult memories of my mom being sick. But, when I woke up that morning, God gave me an excitement and joy to see what He was going to do. We went to the hospital and prayed for many different people...I was able to sit with and pray for a woman who is sick and her three daughters. As I saw my team praying with different people, as I saw Mama Elizabeth walking through the hospital, praying for and encouraging people, as we left the hospital...I saw the fragrance of life pouring out of our team and out of Mama Elizabeth. Bringing life to a place full of sickness and death. Only Jesus can do that.

"May our praises rise as fragrance....to You Lord, to You."
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