Thursday, December 9, 2010

Exhortation: It's a Good Thing

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way;
 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Isaiah 35:3-4

The time is near! I leave for Zimbabwe next week. For those of you who would like to join me in prayer on my journey, I will share with you some specific ways you can do so.

As my time in Zimbabwe draws near, I have been seeking God about what role he wants me to play during my visit.

The thing that He keeps pressing on my heart is encouragement.

Zimbabwe and its people have been through so many hardships, and my hope is that I would able to uplift them with prayers and the Word, and to simply coming along side them and fellowship with them.

I want them to know that they are not forgotten.

I want them to know that people on the other side of the world are seeking God and praying for justice on their behalf.

I want them to know that they are so very loved.

I am aware that I will likely have some very emotional moments while there, as I am returning to face loss of many people that I cared for. Please pray that I will not be overwhelmed with prolonged grief or sadness, but would carry with me the hope joy of Christ.

Safe Entry:
I know I have not gone into too much detail here on my blog, but many of you know that last time I was in Zimbabwe I was forced to leave the country. It was at the height of political tensions, and although much of the situation there has not improved, my wise counsel believes I should have no problem returning for such a short amount of time.

I would also like prayer for safe entry with all my luggage. While I am there Tecla and I will be hosting a Christmas party for the orphans she works with. I will be taking with me a new outfit for each of those children. Pray that all the luggage gets there without incident, and that I would be able to get through customs problem free and without having to pay heavy taxes.

Safe Travels:
I will be flying out of San Francisco on Friday, December 17th, 2010, and will be returning home on Friday, January 7th, 2011. I am traveling alone. Thankfully I have been able to get on a flight with no overnight layovers. However, I only have two hours in South Africa to make my connecting flight to Zimbabwe, which does not give much wiggle room for delays on an international flight. Please pray that I land in South Africa on time and am able to catch my flight to Zimbabwe without any problems or delays, as well as for safety.

While there Tecla and I will be discussing how to best use the money I have raised. I hope to be able to fill any gaps in paying school fees, buying school uniforms and shoes, and covering some medical needs.

In terms of long term, I would like to also invest some of the money in Tecla's business. The majority of the ministry that she does is funded by her businesses, so I believe investing in that area would be a significant and long lasting gift. Please pray we would have wisdom in the best way to do this, as well as open communication in how we can better support her ministry more consistently.

Over the last year or so I have vaguely mentioned some personal health issues. I am not going to go into detail now, but I have consistently been in pain for the last 15 months. Most days I function just fine despite the pain, but other days it completely wipes me out. In addition, I have been getting frequent and long lasting migraines the last two months. Please please please pray that I may go my entire stay in Zimbabwe (and traveling) without debiliating pain.

Also, in 2004 I contracted Dengue Fever while traveling in Africa, and in 2006 I got Malaria. I do not especially want to add to my list of exotic diseases. I would love if you would pray for my health in this way as well.

Thank You to all of you who have supported me with encouragement, gifts, financial support, and prayer. It is all so very appreciated.

God Bless,

Please know that I can't wait to share pictures and stories with you of my time in Zimbabwe, but I will most likely not be able to post much while I am there, for several reasons, including safety. Please know that if you don't hear much from me while I am away, I still love you all, and you will hear from me soon.


Ryan & Carly said...

I will be praying! I get migraines so I know how awful they r. I will be praying for your health and all aspects of your trip. Go in God' grace!

Mark Langham said...

You'll be in my in my prayers. Let this scripture encourage you. That God is doing all this on your behalf as you take care of the least of these. And as you seek first His kingdom He will give you EVERYTHING you need for life and Godliness. Here is a scripture from Him to you.

Isaiah 58:6-12 (As you)loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, and set the oppressed free....(As you)share your food with the hungry and provide the poor wanderer with shelter and clothe the naked....Then your light will break forth like the dawn,and YOUR HEALING will QUICKLY appear;then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your PROTECTION. When you call, the Lord WILL answer; you will cry for help, and he WILL say: Here am I! (As you)do away with the yoke of oppression, and spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. And the Lord will guide you ALWAYS; He will satisfy your needs in that sun-scorched land and will STRENGTHEN YOUR FRAME.
You will be like a well-watered garden,like a spring whose waters NEVER fail.

Rebecca said...

Carly- Thank you!

Mark- Perfect. Thank you. I definitely needed the encouragement today... I will be meditating on this scripture.

Jessica Martinez said...

Becca! I am excited to hear what God will be using you to do this next month. I will be praying for you, as will everyone in my small groups. It may have been a while since YFC but you are not forgotten about in my prayers! I am sure that God will you use to bless everyone you come in contact with on your trip. Having good health will be my top prayer for you!

Jess Elyse said...

Wow! That is awesome!
I will definitely be praying and thinking about you!
Can't wait to hear all about it!

Melissa Irwin said...

Hi Becca - I hope this comes across as wisdom and not as pessimism. The last time I traveled through South Africa, everything of value was stolen out of my checked bags. They tore threw it good, and then stuffed all my unimpressive stuff back into my luggage. With it being Christmas time, they know there will be Christmas presents in those checked bags, and the SA thieves will go nuts. Are you flying on SA Airways by chance? My recommendation is to either take a heavy duty bag (hard frame) that you can lock up very tightly, or wrap your bags a gazillion times in plastic wrap - this seems to deter them. Or take the gifts in your carry on's because those seem to get through just fine. I know you've traveled there before, but having just gone through this experience a couple of months ago.... the warning is fresh on my lips. Regardless - you are in my prayers and I am excited to read about your journey. I'm so jealous...wish I were going.

Rebecca said...

Jessie and Jess- Thank you both so much!

Melissa- Yes, I have heard horror stories about luggage. This time my suitcases are full of mostly clothes (for the kids), no high value items, but we will definitely be praying over my luggage before I check it. I know even clothes can be tempting.

Thank you for your prayers, and wouldn't it be wonderful if someday we could travel together? Are you still planning a trip for April? I would love to have a travel buddy! Oh, and I would love to hear how things are coming along with your non-profit.