The night the elephants broke in…

Can I be real? I always thought of myself as a very strong, independent woman. I did not think there would be so much here that would make me ‘emotionally unstable’…which is mildly laughable because I sincerely don’t cry often here, but I have cried more often in the last 8 months than I did in the states. There are some crazy hard things about just starting to put your roots down in a new place. For instance, I have felt incredible grief over the fact that my newest nephew, now 4 months old, doesn’t know the sound of my voice and I will never have the opportunity to snuggle him as a newborn, won’t be able to feel him in my arms, won’t be able to meet him in person until he is almost 2 years old. My sister is about to give birth to my very first niece. A little girl who is enormously loved by an Auntie she won’t see very often.

And my heart hurts.

Did you know that when I moved here, I brought all of my movies with me, including the movie “UP” where one of the main character’s name is Ellie? I did. And I have watched all of my movies over and over again. Except that one. The reason? While my dad writes his sermons and works in his office, he listens to Pandora, and whenever an “UP” song comes on, he stops and shoots me an email letting me know he’s praying for me and loves me. And so, I may never be able to watch that movie here. It hurts too much.

But you know why it’s worth it, even though it’s crazy hard? Because of the curiosity I hear in my students while we learn about Lazarus and Jesus raising him from the dead. Because I get the opportunity to help young hearts realize that God has a plan for their lives, even when horrible things happen, like losing a parent or sibling, and that that plan is for their good and His glory. It’s worth it  because I get to not only help teach these children that God is in control of all things, but I get to see it worked out in my own life on a daily basis. It’s worth it to be able to build Gospel relationships with children whose lives have been anything but easy so far…to help them see that our God is a Father to the fatherless. Hard, but TOTALLY worth it!

Ok. So enough of the stuff that makes me want to cry!  I wanted to share with you all some updates and new prayer requests. Some of you might have heard, or seen my posts on facebook already, but we’ve had some unexpected visitors on our property recently! For about a week and a half, every night, a group of elephants were breaking onto our property to eat our trees and play on our playground! Dead serious. I was walking home from a friend’s house late one night and turned the corner to get to the door of my flat and there was an elephant…right next to my door! And the next morning, I opened my door to go to church and they were still there. Munching away on our trees. Just meters away from my front door. We had to cancel school one morning because of elephants. Oh Africa. How I love thee! The problem has been taken care of with electric fences and we haven’t had visitors in a while, but it was exciting while it lasted! (See pictures below – all taken from my front door!)

I wanted to thank those of you who prayed for this nation at the beginning of August during the elections. Everything seemed to go smoothly and we have been riot-free for several weeks! A great answer to prayer! Please continue to pray for South Africa to be gripped by the Gospel, for hearts to be transformed, and souls to be redeemed!

Each of you, my rope holders, matter to me. You’re prayers are coveted as I finish out this year of teaching these 22 hearts. Pray for them. Pray that they would know personally who Jesus is and what He has done for each of them. Pray that they would not waste another day as an enemy of God. Pray that they would genuinely repent and live the rest of their lives passionately serving God. Pray hard. Pray often.

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