I needed this post.
I had a lot of fun choosing my 5 most entertaining posts for last week’s Term in Review, but I needed to work through this week’s post. It was medicine for my soul.
Recently, I mentioned my lack of excitement about returning to the States, and as that time has quickly approached, I have found myself running a gamut of emotions. Sometimes it is the dread of returning to the world from which I came and being disappointed with what I find. At other moments it is hurt at leaving a life created here, saying goodbye to friends and people who have now become family.
But sifting through this next portion of my Term in Review, I finally found a little perspective.
Over the course of an hour or two, I read through my entire term, post by post. I walked back through all of the lessons worth writing down and, for the first time, put the whole term together.
I was reminded or my feelings when I was preparing to move here two years ago. Ironically, I felt much the same way about coming here as I do about returning to the States. Yet, because I obeyed his voice and came, I have been immeasurably blessed by my time here. It has changed so much.
Now, I feel he has me returning (at least for a time), and I can count on God’s faithfulness again.
On to the second installment of my Term in Review.
The following posts are the five biggest lessons I have learned during these two years. My goal was limiting this to posts dealing with experiences I have had because I am in Africa. I had many other posts about lessons learned from Bible study, and, as hard as it was, I chose to leave those out. God gave me great learning opportunities here, and I hope you will be blessed through them as well. Please take the time to read these.
This was far harder than picking funny posts, and I have realized there is no adequate way to wrap up a term in 5 posts. But here is my attempt:
Here is the list:
This one was a big deal for me. As a matter of fact, the heart of this post drives my desire to continue my studies when I return to the States. If we are ever going to change the world, then it will come through a love for God’s word. It is the fuel that drives devotion and worship.
In the coming weeks, you will see a lot of changes to my blog, many of which stem from this post. I have completely redesigned the site in order to reflect a change in purpose.
Many of my lessons here came in the form of humbling experiences. This one was no exception, but it completely changed my understanding of spiritual gifts.
Learning to learn
I will leave Africa with a handful of moments that are true jewels, moments that will always shine in my memory. This post is about one of those. I saw the heart of a true learner.
The message of the cross: Part 1 and Part 2
You may accuse me of cheating on this one because it is actually two posts, but if you will notice, the title of this Term in Review notes that it is about “lessons learned.” This lesson was big enough it needed two posts, and it is definitely worth the read.
Realities like the one discussed in this post are hard to accept, because it all seems so unfair. Yet, it is in these exact circumstances that God shapes the hearts of believers. Great pressure will result in great strength. Perhaps that is one reason so many flounder in their faith in the areas where it should be easiest.
Honorable Mention (sorry, now I am cheating):
Cow Training: Part 1 and Part 2
I had to include this one! Simply because it is one of my best examples of how this culture here speaks to the culture of the New Testament. In some ways spending time out in the bush here is like going back in time, and many of the illustrations scripture uses come to life in this setting. The people here, in many ways live out the agricultural and cultural illustrations in scripture. The parables we have to explain to audiences of modern Americans sitting in pews are simply understood on first read here. This post attempts to demonstrate that.
That is it, my best attempt at cramming two years of lessons into (around) five posts. God has taught me so much in my time here. My hope is this speaks to you as well.
Did one of these say something to you? Was there a post that you think I should have included? Let me know your thoughts as well.