Isaiah 40:31 (New International Version)

31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ode to.....


Oh dear Starbucks, how I miss thee,
I cannot count the ways.


Oh dear bed, how I miss thee
I cannot count the ways.


Even you, dear bathroom,
I miss more than you could know.

I want so much to see you all,
my mind has been consumed.
I have not been in contact,
as I know you miss me too.
I promise to be back someday,
To hold you close once more.
So do not be discouraged,
And don't forget my face,
I'll be back before you know it,
expecting an embrace!!!

Ok, ok I know, pathetic......but cute right?????
Of course I miss all of you my friends and family more than these comforts. Although, I must tell you that on these rainy, gloomy days, these comforts of home would be so very nice.  Is it not ironic that Uganda is one of the leading coffee producers.....and yet......I cannot find anything good around anywhere!!!  Feel sad for only a moment, I will survive....hahahaha.

Miss you all.....
Cheryl xoxox



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rainstorms bring rainbows....

I have been MIA for a while.  I have had so much to say, and so little to say all at the same time.  Some of you already know that I felt as though I was in a storm recently, a storm I thought would never end, a storm I felt so much guilt about going through because I had talked so much about this place, talked so much about my passion for people, I thought I had failed.  The storm has ended, but that does not mean that I feel like I am now skipping through a field of roses singing blissful songs of praise, on the contrary, I am lonely and desire often to beam myself home. 

I was reading a book that a dear lady gave to me before I left, a book that I must confess had not one ounce of attractabilty to me, but when you are in Africa and feel a bit bored because it is raining outside and there is nothing else to do, you read books that don`t attract you, believe me!  Anyway, through this book, I realized that my emotions, lack of inspiration and irritability with this place is normal.  In fact, this is a quote that a seasoned missionary to China gave to a group of young women on their way to the mission field; "Girls, when you get to China, all the scum of your nature will rise to the top".  Strong words, but I must tell you, so very true.  Many things about my nature, my character have come to the surface since I arrived, things that I don't like very much, but I know that in order to be changed by God, I must see and admit that there are areas in desperate need of change.  God says that He is the potter and we are the clay for a reason.  I am in the molding stage, and I have to tell you something else, IT HURTS!!!! 

Yes, like a piece of precious pottery I am being formed into what God wants me to be, now this is exciting, despite the pain.  God is revealing things to me that make my heart skip.  For now though I am going to savour the time that these things are only between Him and I, sorry people, in due time, in due time.  I know without a doubt that God called me here, that He has a plan in all of this and so I rest in that truth.

Now, onto something else.  After reading "Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne (yes, I do a lot of reading!!!) I was inspired and would recommend that you read anything by this very gifted man, but one part jumped off of the page.  Shane was writing about Matthew 25 and asked his readers this: (I have paraphrased)

In this passage did Jesus say "When I was hungry you wrote a check to the United Way, and they fed me; when I was naked you donated your clothes to salvation Army and they clothed me," NO, He said YOU fed me, YOU gave me something to drink, YOU invited me in, YOU clothed me, YOU, YOU, YOU. 

I am not saying that giving money or donating your clothes are not good things, don't misconstrued this, I am asking however, that on top of that, what are YOU doing?  God is looking for more than distant charity, something that our nation has become good at.  Don't short change yourself by remaining a safe distance away.  Get to know the poor and suffering of the world, look into their eyes and touch their hands for yourself.  Mother Teresa used to say "come and see", when people asked about her work. 

Claiborne also said this "The great tragedy is not that Christians don't care about the poor, but that rich Christians don't know the poor".  Strong words....I wish that I had said them!!!  Don't ask God to use your feet and your hands, if you don't really mean it, if you are not willing to go into the world.  Do you want to be like Jesus?  I do, that is why I am here, being molded, being shaped, even though it hurts.  I am nothing extraordinary, but God can do extraordinary things through me if I choose to let Him.  I want people to see Jesus in me, I want to be less so that He can be more.

One more quote to leave you with....

"In God's perfect workings, the instrument is forgotten. It is the blessing of Himself that is remembered"

Blessings,

Cheryl

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A little of this, a little of that....

Quick update.......

I am getting very good at basin baths and actually feel clean after having one!!!!!

I have eaten my first white ant.  Yes you did read that correctly, an ANT!  I was brave, I ate it with a smile on my face and to be honest, it was pretty good!

Peeing in a hole is still a bit of a  learning curve, but there is a sit down toilet...praise GOD for little things, so my learning my take a while!!

No more rats in my room....again praise GOD!!
Kenzie and I have eaten  Ethiopian food for the first time.....it was great!  We were celebrating Amy and Paul's Adoption news, it made it all the more worth while.

Vikki is still an awesome support and encouragement to me.  Just seeing you and knowing you are near Vikki is a big help to me.

Hospital ministry is going well.  I will elaborate on this another time.

God is doing great things in my heart and I am getting closer to Him everyday.

All for now friends as my battery is dying.......love you all...

Cheryl xoxox

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Father Heart of God

I been blessed with a wonderful earthly dad.  My dad would do anything for me.  In fact, right now as I am in Uganda, my dad has taken on the daunting task of managing all that I left behind.  This is only one of the many things throughout my life that my dad has done for me.  For this dad, I want to say thank you. 

Having a dad like mine has made it easier for me to reach out for God and to understand His heart and love for me.  Not all of you have had this experience, some of you have been abused, rejected, some of you don`t know your earthly dad`s.  Rest in the truth that you are loved and that you have a loving Father God longing to have a relationship with you.

Jeremiah 3:19 says this.....I have always wanted to treat you as my children and give you the best land, the most beautiful on earth. I wanted you to call me "Father" and not turn from me.

If you are searching, if you have made mistakes, find comfort in knowing that we have all sinned, that none of us deserve to have God's love, but He is ready to give it to us if we ask.  Please take some time to read the following story and while you read it, imagine the Lord, waiting for you, longing for you to come home.

Sawat's Story...A Story of Forgiveness

He had disgraced his family and dishonored his father’s name. He had come to Bangkok to escape the dullness of village life. He had found excitement, and while he prospered in his sordid lifestyle he had found popularity as well.When he first arrived, he had visited a hotel unlike he had ever seen before. In each of the hotel rooms were teenage girls. Some as young as 12 years old and younger. Some of the girls were laughing and some looked nervous and scared.
That visit began Sawat’s venture into Bangkok’s world of prostitution. It began innocently enough, but he was quickly caught like a small piece of wood in a raging river. It’s force was too powerful and swift for him, the current too strong.
Soon he was selling opium to customers and propositioning tourists in the hotels. He even went so low as to actually help buy and sell young girls, some of them only 9 and 10 years old. It was a nasty business, and he was one of the most important of the young “businessmen.”
Then the bottom dropped out of his world: He hit a string of bad luck. He was robbed, and while trying to climb back to the top, he was arrested. The word went out in the underworld that he was a police spy. He finally ended up living in a shanty by the city trash pile.
Sitting in his little shack, he thought about his family, especially his father, a simple Christian man from a small southern village near the Malaysian border. He remembered his dad’s parting words: “I am waiting for you.” He wondered whether his father would still be waiting for him after all that he had done to dishonor the family name. Would he be welcome in his home? Word of Sawat’s lifestyle had long ago filtered back to the village.
Finally he devised a plan.
“Dear Father,” he wrote, “I wanted to come home, but I don’t know if you will receive me after all I have done. I have sinned greatly, father. Please forgive me. On Saturday night I will be on the train that goes through our village. If you are still waiting for me, will you tie a piece of cloth on the poe tree in front of our house? (Signed ) Sawat.”
On that train ride he reflected on his life over the past few months and knew that his father had every right to deny him. As the train finally neared the village, he churned with anxiety. What would he do if there was no cloth on the po tree?
Sitting opposite him was a kind stranger who noticed how nervous his fellow passenger had become. Finally Sawat could stand the pressure no longer. He blurted out his story in a torrent of words. As they entered the village, Sawat said, “Oh, sir, I cannot bear to look. Can you watch for me? What if my father will not receive me back?”
Sawat buried his face between his knees. “Do you see it, sir? It’s the only house with a po tree.”
“Young man, your father did not hang just one piece of cloth. Look! He has covered the whole tree with cloth!” Sawat could hardly believe his eyes. The branches were laden with tiny white squares. In the front yard his old father jumped up and down, joyously waving a piece of white cloth, then ran in halting steps beside the train. When it stopped at the little station he threw his arms around his son, embracing him with tears of joy. “Ive been waiting for you!” he exclaimed.
(Floyd McClung - The Father Heart of God)

So, just as Sawat's father wanted his son to come home, just as he was ready to forgive him for whatever and wherever he had been, the same is true for Father God.  Believe that he longs for you to know Him, believe that he wants to forgive you, believe that He loves you no matter what.

Blessings friends,


Cheryl


Happy CANADA Day