Sunday, March 30, 2008

I've got my joy back!

The Bible is full of verses about joy.

We all know that we are supposed to be filled with joy, after all it is one of the fruits of the spirit... but yesterday I didn't feel joyful. I felt burdened. And this morning I woke up and I did not feel joyful.

I felt heavy, out of place, I don't know... just off.

I have prayed, I have rebuked spirits, I have tried to serve others... still no joy.

I wanted to be saying:
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

But instead, I felt like I should be saying: Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12

So..... I took off after church while the good people of David Livingstone Memorial Presbyterian Church held their Annual General Meeting (no thank you) and went to the falls.

It seemed that if my heart wanted to be in Zim, the next best thing was to be soaked in the water of the mighty Zambezi.

It was such an amazing day. I have got my joy back, I reclaimed it in the waters of the mighty Zambezi.

As I danced through the rain from the very full falls, I couldn't help but stand in awe at the wonder of all the Lord has created. He loves us so much. As I soaked up the sun along the side of the river, laughing with both old and new friends, I couldn't help but be filled with joy. As I (stupidly, I will admit) walked down the gorge to the boiling pot (at 5:00pm) I took in the sights, sounds and smells of the lush rain forest. As I walked up at about 6:30 pm (in the dark trying not to get lost) I delighted in the fact that our Lord has created us for adventure.

Yes, I am the clumsy girl who doesn't like the outdoors or the dirt. (And Lori... I think I will go to Joshua Tree with Jesika, thank you very much!!) And yes, I was covered in dirt, mud and of course a little blood from some war wounds... and I was ALIVE!

I was filled with joy.

The burden that I carry for Zim has not lightened. As I was covered in water from the falls, I kept my eyes focused on the side of the river that is Zimbabwe, my home. I kept my heart focused on the Lord, and I know that He can be trusted. That He loves his people in Zimbabwe, more than I do. And that whatever the outcome of the elections, that our mission hasn't changed.

How blessed I am with the life that I have been given.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

The polls are closed

The polls are closed now,

but still we join together with others from around the world that are praying for peace. We have prayed for peace all day, and I know that our God is faithful and that He has heard our prayer.

I have not felt settled all day. I cannot explain it. Maybe it is because i am out of place. I am in Zambia, across the river from my beloved Zimbabwe. I am not sure. I have tried to carry on with my day, to go to a braii at DLMPC this afternoon. I couldn't do it. I found myself making an excuse to get back to zigzag to my computer, to BBC and to prayer. It didn't feel right...just being normal.

So I rejoined the many people around the world praying for peace... Somehow praying for peace seemed appropriate, and yet now as the polls close I know that I was limiting my sovereign Lord. I know that I am not just called to pray for peace in Zimbabwe, for that is not enough. Zimbabwe, God's children in Zimbabwe, deserve freedom and peace...

So tonight, as the polls close, that is my prayer. That God redeems his children and that we awake to find a Zimbabwe that I have never known.


Even in Livingstone, Zambia I am surrounded by conversations about the elections in Zimbabwe.

I am spending the day interceding on behalf of the people and the country that have become tied to my soul.

I cannot describe how I feel other than to say burdened.

Things in Vic Falls seem to be going well, I keep getting messages from my friends and neighbors that say things are quiet and peaceful and that people are voting.

Polls close soon, and as we continue to pray for freedom and peace, I can't help but be a little selfish and pray that permission to go home will come quickly.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Are now...
People will begin voting on Saturday morning. It is now Friday night and i am safely tucked away in Zambia (as per specific instruction from Glen and all of my relatives.... and yes i actually listened!)

Please pray for Zimbabwe, pray for peace.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I am in love.....

My life here is so special. I have had a few of those days that just make life worthwhile! I keep running into old friends and also new people that just seem like gifts from God. I met 2 women from Australia today in Zambia and they invited me to stay with them when I go visit Lori... I love that!

Returning home was better than I can even tell you in the few minutes that I have on this terribly slow internet connection, but I am just grateful to have a connection at all.... it has been days without and I was starting to get frustrated. I will return your messages, but honestly I haven't been able to read them yet, but please keep them coming!

I am trying to include some pics... we'll see if it works!!

My house is beautiful and sleeping in my own bed was amazing!!! I am now living on a farm (you can laugh too, everyone else already has) with a beautiful lawn and a row of maize in the back yard!! I have already eaten some of the maize!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane.....

Well actually, I already left!

I am currently sitting in the airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is 9:42 am in California and 6:42pm in my part of the world.

My travel seemed difficult this time, I had trouble getting all the luggage checked and left my power cord for my computer at home... they even made me leave my guitar behind (what kind of rockstar chooses the bag with the printer/copier/scanner over the guitar---ugh!!!).

I didn't sleep very well on my flights either, but I did meet some great people. It seemed like our flights were full of Christians and we had some great conversations and of course I watched a lot of movies!!!

I was filled with joy and gratitude and the sun was rising this morning as we were taking off from Dakar to Joburg. I realized that I was witnessing my first African sunrise of 2008 and was overwhelmed with the thought that I am on my way home.

All of the busy-ness of the trip is over and it is time for reality to sink it. I miss you all, already my heart aches to call Jesika and demand for her to leave her house, or for Jules to come drive me somewhere so that we can spend time together, or for Christie to take me to yogurtland. I miss sweet phone calls from Lori calling just to tell me that she loves me. This morning a not so loving flight attendant offered me tea instead of Mary offering me my morning hot chocolate with more love than whip cream.

Leaving you all is the hardest part of what I do.

But tonight I will spend time with my joburg friends and tomorrow I will be greeted at the airport by some of the people that make what I do in Zimbabwe possible, and at the very least, a lot more fun. I will probably hop over and hub my kids, Bothwell and Munya are waiting and I can't imagine 5 more seconds without telling them how empty my life is without them.

The passage that keeps coming to mind is from the message...
Psalm 34:18- 20

"If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath.

Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.

He's your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken."

Those of you that know me, know that God has proven this to be true over and over again. I feel his loving protection all around me, when I am in trouble (frequently, I know) He is ALWAYS there and most of all when I am heart broken (like I am a little right now), I find Him right there. I love that!

Please keep in touch...

Warrior Princess

Monday, March 17, 2008

Going Away...

Yes, I am going away….. I will leave for Zimbabwe on March 20th. Time is flying by. I am ready to go, but I do not want to leave. This morning I was honored to celebrate my friend Scott’s marriage to a beautiful woman named Cyndi.

After the wedding I came home to find everything decorated in PINK!!! My fabulous friend Jesika was throwing a going away party for me, and she went out of her way to make everything girly and pink. There was pink punch and pink cookies and pink cake and the house was filled with pink balloons and streamers.

The best part is, everyone wore pink… even most of the boys!! I love my friends. This is the hardest part about leaving, leaving you all.

Monday, March 3, 2008


As the United Nations releases information about the current situation in Zimbabwe, the numbers are heartbreaking and yet, not suprising, because it is what I have been seeing for the past two and a half years.

We talk of reasons the kids are on the street... some run away, some get pushed away, some are orphaned when their parents die, and some are diaspora orphans. These children are orphaned when their parents became part of the 25% of the population that leave the country to find a better life somewhere else.

These kids are being categorized with a new "catch phrase", but their story is the same. Many of the boys we have been working with fall into this category; one parent has left the country and the other dies or can't afford to raise them.

I think this is why the work that we are doing is so important, the need is already overwhelming and it is just getting worse. It is very clear that as poverty increases, child welfare decreases: more kids are verbally, physically, emotionally and sexually abused. More kids are neglected. In extreme poverty the basic physical needs of children cannot be met.

It is widely accepted that Zimbabwe has the highest inflation rate in the world. Experts say it is unreasonable to expect to see a change in this, until the larger political problems are solved. Due to the correlation between economy and abuse, it is easy to see why the report from the United Nations is not suprising. They reported a 42% increase in the number of child rape cases reported, although they admit, many go unreported.

Not suprising, but devastating all the same. Those 42% are not a lifeless statistic. They are children. They have names, they have faces, they have stories. They are real. 3,112 names, 3,112 faces, 3,112 stories. They are my friends, my neighbors, the kids that I fight for.

Tonight as I read the story again, as I have for the past few days, I weep. I weep for the kids who are not being protected. I weep because God has given me a design to help protect them, I weep because I don't understand the timing, I weep because each day means more pain.

I weep, but I trust. I trust that His plan, His design, His timing is perfect. I trust that no matter how great the pain, He is the remedy.

I long for the day when these prevention programs we are designing are so widespread and so effective that the treatment programs are obsolete. As always, I am designing myself out of a job! When this is your job, you hope that the need disappears.

Even though the situation looks bleak, the truth is beautiful and the future is bright. The solution is real and there is hope.

The facts are ugly, scary and real. The facts are different than the truth:

The truth is:

There is always hope. Our God is bigger than economics, He is bigger than politics, He is bigger than pain and He loves his children. He loves each and everyone of us and the loves the kids in Zimbabwe. He's got them and He is not letting go. Neither can we.