Thursday, August 19, 2010

Real Life

SO I wanna go ahead and apologize again for not blogging more. A bunch of people have asked me too, and my sister keeps telling me to do it before I get to caught up in “normal life” again, but I keep putting it off!

**WARNING: I’m being 100% percent honest and open about everything that’s going on right now, just like I would write it in my journal… I’m not going to sugar coat anything. I’m done with acting like everything is perfect in blog world.

These past couple weeks have been kind of hard. Well.. more then kinda. Yesterday I had the privilege to meet Malisa, one of my teammates who goes to Georgia Tech, for lunch…which was awesome! It was so nice to be able to be completely honest with her and talk about everything and for once… someone understood and was dealing with the same kinda stuff.

People kept asking if I was having culture shock being back in America, and my answer was obviously yes… but not in just the ways people assumed.. it was so much more.

Yes 1. It’s been hard to come back and have everything I could have ever dreamed of and more… when I just left a culture who even when they have barely anything at all, not even the same two shoes on… they seem to have everything if they have Christ. And then enter into a world where Christians have everything physically but not much at all spiritually.

2. Its so hard to go from hanging out with the same people for 2 months straight, being stretched and challenged by them everyday, growing deeper to each other than you have ever gone with anyone else… to not seeing them at all, and only on occasion even talking to them. I got so used to living in constant community. Community that God calls us as the body of Christ to live in, but 99% of us don’t. Community where accountability is endless… and its easy to spend lots of time in the word and being soaked up in the Lord’s presence.

3. It’s hard to come to the realization that people aren’t going to understand. I have had the most life changing experience ever and so badly I want to be able to tell people, and them “get it”… but they don’t. It’s not their fault, but they just don’t.

4. Some people could care less to hear about it, people who I really care a lot about and thought they would want to know all about it, but they haven’t asked me at all about it, or maybe one brief question, but that’s all. It sucks because I would like to shout to the world how amazing Jesus is, and all the wonderful things he showed me this summer… but I don’t wanna be that girl that brings it up if they don’t ask. Or they do ask… one or two questions, but you start to tell them and you know they really don’t care. It hurts so bad. On the flip side of that… there has been so many people, who I never ever thought would read my blog or care to know how God rocked my life this summer, and they are constantly asking and eager to know everything and be pumped with me!

5. Its hard not to let Satin convince me that my time here is worthless, cause its not. But its so easy to be confident in the work of the Lord when your dependent on him everyday. And you come back to the real world where its easy to not be dependent on him and you have ALL THIS STUFF, literally in the way. And you feel so little in the grand scheme of things. I ask the Lord more and more everyday to continue breaking my heart for what breaks his over in Africa, and to continue to humble me so that I can give more and more towards causes and passions… even as a college student. We have SO much, and there is SO much that I can do. But I have a fear that I’m gonna get caught up in the same ol same ol, and push these convictions and desires to the side.

Going back to school is hard, real life is hard. Yes I am excited to see everybody, but after this summer… my heart was wrecked for his kingdom, and I don’t want to go back to normal life. My desire is that I do live differently. I do seek his face every morning and every night, and I continue to allow him to work through me like he did this summer because Florida Southern College needs his will to be done just as much as Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania does.

Right now, I am going to declare Freedom in these things that I keep struggling with. Lord, take me back to this place you had me, this place of surrender and identity completely rooted in you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

the slum

While we were in Kenya we stopped at Kibera: the 2nd largest slum in Africa, 1st largest slum in East Africa.

TO be honest, at this point, we had been in Africa over a month.. and we had mostly seen it all. Everything was starting to become normal, and it wasn't a shock to see the brutalness of poverty anymore.

But this deffinitly hit me in the heart. The things we saw, were hard to see with our American eyes. It was brutal, these pictures don't do it justice. Our leader, Angie, had been here this past fall and had a vision of how she wanted to help a few of the men.

Slum Life is rough. The poorest of the poor live in the slums, and most have no other choice to survive other than by living a life of crime. Its not that they are horrible people, its that they don't have any other option to survive. Most have no education, and have no option of education (its not free there like it is here!!)

When Angie visted last fall, she saw hope in some men. They aren't educated, therefor they can't get regular jobs... so they decided to try something new! They take cow bones.. and saw and shape them to make jewlery. Neat right!

Well, the only problem is that the dust that comes from the bones is heavy. In fact, when we went in to see them... their skin looked completely white from all the bone dust they were covered in. And you can only imagine what type of diseases can come from inhaling that dust. How to prevent that? All you need is some masks.

So Angie had this idea that we would go to the market and buy tons of masks for these men to have so that they could continue doing their work, and their health would be okay along the way. What a blessing it was to deliver these masks, the smile on their faces was overwhelmingly filled with JOY! How awesome!!!

Last night, I attended Passion City Church in Atlanta with some friends. Ironically they were advertising about Compassion International (a sponsership program) and they had a girl from Kenya share her story about the hope that Jesus brought in her life because of Compassion and her U.S. family that has sponsered her for all these years. Sure enough... where was she from?? KIBERA slum! Crazy!!! She lived in a 10x10 mud hut with 3 siblings and her parents... where they struggled to pay the 4$ rent a month. One day when she was 7 years old, she found out that a family from the United States was going to sponser her so that she can get her education and live a life of freedom and not poverty.

If you dont know what that means... check out or to see how you can help change a childs life forever!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tanzania Video!

This is a glimpse of our ministry and time in Tanzania (and a little on the Kenya border too!)

**At the end of the video there is a part that shows us out on the Indian Ocean. We had a 2 days of "touristy" de-brief on the last 2 days of the trip, and some of us decided we were going to spend our own money and go "dolphin swimming" and it turned out to be the ghettofied african version..."dolphin chasing". HILARIOUS might i ad!

Team X Tanzania from Angela Tibbo on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Love Always

I am home!!! And have been super busy seeing friends and family... but I wanted to shoot a quick blog so that you all know Im alive!

This summer I didn't miss a day of journaling, and I am currently writing up a bunch of blogs/stories that I would love to share with all of you. Sadly I lost my memory card with all my pictures, when we were in Tanzania... so i am waiting till I get all the pictures from my team mates this weekend, and be expecting some incredible God stories!

Heres a quick thank you to all my supporters, friends, and followers. You guys are incredible, and I wish I could begin to explain how God wrecked my life this summer! You guys are so faithful to give time, prayer, and money into helping me get to Africa- and I am so blessed by all of you! I am in the process of writing another letter for you all, but hang in there with me cause it might take me a while. My goal is to go through all the pictures and stories I have written in my journal.. and give you all a different picture of somebody you can pray for, and tell you a glimpse of their story and "how" you can pray for them. From the widows, to the orphans, to the men in the slums who are working hard and diligently to get their life back together... they all need prayer. And how awesome would it be if 50+ of YOU GUYS had someone you could pray for specifically everyday!

Cant wait to share with you more about what God did this summer and how he worked in such incredible ways! Love you all, thank you for being such blessings in my life!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Land of Zanzibar!

3 Days to go and boy is there a ton of emotions with that. We are all incredibly sad to leave each other, its like our family is divorcing. We've been together for 2 months every moment of everyday. And of course we all are losing part of our hearts in africa (not literally) haha... but it will deffinitly be sad to leave, and culture shock will be hitting us hard back home. But on a good note for our families, we are ready and eager to see everyone we miss from back home (and that yummy chickfila and some chocolate chip cookie dough too!)

2 Weeks ago we spent our time on the border of Kenya in an orphanage/school called Heartbeat Ministries. There were over 100 kids who lived there during their school year, and these kids were instructed by teachers and preechers who were on fire for the Lord! It was amazing, and such a refresher after being in the bush! Angie's church friends from Canada actually partner with this orphanage and they are impacting these kids lives in amazing ways! It was so cool to get a glimpse of what God was doing, and that there was hope for the African orphans. It made me think of what the bush could look like, and how we could use this new "responsibility" to impact them.

Mallarie wrote a little about what we have been doing in Tanzania! Dar and Zanzibar has been every adjective summed up in one sentence. We have learned a lot about patience, but also a lot about how big God really is! Zanzibar is 99% Muslim, so you can only imagine how hard ministry has been. But we were told about this girl named Rosie who is an African Missionary who lives on the island. Two of her churches have been burned down, shes been put in jail, and you can imagine all the other ways this woman has been prosecuted for her faith. She is only 23 years old.

We prayed and prayed that we would be able to meet her, but we had a wrong number, and she hadn't been at her workplace for over a week. We really wanted to be able to encourage her, but after a while we became completely discouraged, and told ourselves to not get our hopes up, because it wasn't likely at all to happen. So we mostly spent our days prayer walking and hanging out with locals. Malisa and I made friends with a Muslim girl named Gina, who we just hung out with and became friends with, and we would visit her everyday.

Then TWO DAYS AGO.. Matt, Mallarie, and Jessica were out walking the streets and talking to friends, and some RANDOM man, who apparently we have met before, but none of us remember... ran into them and was like "Are you guys the ones looking for Rosie??" and they were like YESSSSS! ANd he took them to her!!! SO they hung out with her and scheduled a time that we as a team could meet up with her the next day.

SO yesterday as a team, we went to her house, prayed with her, worshiped with her... and just go to love on her!!! It was amazing!! AND to top it all off.. me and Malisa has been talking about baptism and how we hadn't been baptized since we had been Christians.. so right there in the INDIAN OCEAN, Rosie baptized Malisa and I!!! What an incredible day I will never forget!! Which P.S. it was hilarious cause we had no idea she was going to dunk us 3 times in a row (father son and holy spirit) haha and Malisa probably swallowed a gallon of water.

Thats all for now, Ill have the Tanzania video up when i get home!

p.s. I dont have time to tell the story, cause im in a major rush because we have to catch a ferry.. but WE SAW HUMPBACK WHALES!!!!!!!! just had to say that :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Circumstantial Uncertainty: Adventure

This is written from
Mallarie Phillips

I will be making a lot of references to the book Wild Goose Chase if wonder where a lot of my quotes come from.

As each location has become more and more dangerous as the trip has moved on we have also been favored more and more every place we go by the Lord. We have been doing ATL (Ask The Lord) for the past 4 days and fasting to stay as a community at this lodge, to do communion as a group, and spend two hours with the Lord individually unitl we he from Him on what to do next. We do this daily and for the whole day. We are on a" Wild Goose Chase". Following the Holy Spirit is like trying to follow a wild goose which shows the mysterious nature of the Holy Spirit because it cant be tracked or tamed. You never know what to expect or where you will end up but it is always worth the search and chase. It is stressful,confusing, and complicated when we are constantly trying to figure out His will and we have experienced that some. "Intellectual analysis usually results in spiritual paralysis" because we limit Him without realizing it.
Inverted Christianity: We invite the Spirit to follow us instead of us following Him. many Christians do this to be able to comfortably fit "following Christ" into their lifestyles. "The result of this inverted relationship with God isn't just self-absorbed spirituality that leaves us feeling empty, it's also the difference between spiritual boredom and spiritual adventure."
Our team has also seen God work and feel Him moving while sensing something big is coming our way. Our community of 9 is so blessed and favored with our various attributes, personalities, and family bond like no other. No emotional baggage, group conflict, and being on the same level spiritually has allowed us to be a true family (community) of the Wild Goose and sprint after Him on this adventure of Life.
So the Lord has narrowed our resources and contacts to Zanzibar Island. That's where we will head tomorrow which has never crossed our mind as even an option considering the touristy location and expense, but God has provided resources. Safety is better we believe and hope there also. It's amazing how God works and how ironically all contacts in Tanzania are full or exhausted so our only choice is Zanzibar pretty much. It means to me He doesn't want us to miss out or choose somewhere else to go but that something big is waiting to unfold and He has been setting up the divine appointments waiting to happen long before we got to Tanzania. Yipppppppeee! Our community is a ministry not only to ourselves and to the Africans but to the tourist as well and who thinks about them on a mission trip. Well God has been laying them on our hearts as we have stayed at this lodge and so Africans, Americans, Europeans, British, Jamaicans, TOURIST- Here we come!!!!!
" Otro dia, otra aventura." Another day, another adventure!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

MARK 12:30

THis trip has been absolutely amazing. I really do wish I could begin to explain how blessed I have been to have this experince. I want everyone to experience something like this in their lifetime!

Has it been incredibly challenging? ABsolutely. But God is worth it in everyway! He has been teaching me so much about his love... it is crazy! And bringing me back to the most important thing, his greatest commandment. to love Him. I thought I had Mark 12:30 mastered, but to be honest- that was probably my biggest struggle.

Its so easy to get caught up in Ministry.... in life... in worrying about the future and asking yourself "what am I being called to...etc etc"

But God is simply saying.. First anf foremost. love me. Love me with all of your heart, love me with all of your soul, love me with all of your strength. "I dont care about what you do Allee, I care about who your become" and in that process... just love me! With everything, with absolutely eveyrthing.

SO thats my plan. To love God.