notes on a journey


the irish
June 10, 2010, 6:27 pm
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tomorrow i leave for ireland where i am quite positive i will turn into a crazy tempered, red haired, potato loving, irishmen ready to party with all the little leprechauns wandering around. ok, sorry to give into the stereotype. i probably won’t do any of the above but i am spending 9 wonderful days with three of my favorite people in the world wandering the irish hills, sleeping on the beach, experiencing the lure of the irish pub, visiting castles, and yes, i probably will dance with leprechauns! pictures and updates upon my return [if i return :)]

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for memory’s sake
May 27, 2010, 1:52 pm
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in case i didn’t contact every single one of you, although i think i did, due to my extreme excitement, and just so i can remember this day here is the email i sent out about a month ago about the new bozo believers here in D-village.

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one
could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before
the throne and in front of the Lamb.”

This scripture was brought to life yesterday here in a small village in Mali
as myself and Mr. Y, a Malian Christian, sat with 20 or so men and women who
were eager to here the word of God. After some storying and explanation,
they answered with “We are ready, tell us exactly what we need to do to
follow this Jesus road!” Praise the Lord, not only did 6 Bozo men and women
receive Christ yesterday but 12 others from 5 different people groups
received Christ too! Already these new believers are asking how to gather,
how to pray, and so many other questions that can only be explained by the
work of the Holy Spirit. Before we left the village yesterday, I challenged
each of the new believers to tell at least 5 people each what happened in
their lives today to which they replied, “That won’t be a problem, we’ll
gather the whole village and tell them!”

I am so happy and amazed by God, I don’t think there are adequate human
words to describe the feeling.  Honestly, over the past year there were few
days when I truly believed I would ever be here to see a Bozo man or woman
come to know Christ as savior. But praise Him that He is the God and Father
of all things and that He does more than we could ever fathom or expect.

Please join us in praying and rejoicing for these new believers who are so
hungry for the Word. Pray that their faith is strong and endures and that it
produces much fruit in the coming days and weeks!

Rejoicing with you
hannah



spring showers
April 19, 2010, 11:08 am
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last thursday, the last night of our village trip, amanda, tiffany, and I laid in our tent on the side of the road somewhere north of segou, trying our best to forget about the 100 degree heat that was radiating around us and the stench that was no doubt radiating from us. as we laid there pouring sweat, discussing our most recent storying opportunity with a new bozo friend, Mr. K, and trying to have a few laughs to end the day the winds started to pick up. now i have been here long enough to know that when the wind starts blowing there are only two options–you are either about to experience the craziest dust storm imaginable or a rain storm, with the latter being oh so rare. but praise the Lord… it started raining. yes, rain! it was my first in 8 months. the temperature immediately started to drop and around 3 a.m we were finally able to settle in for a “cool” night’s rest. we awoke friday morning to soaked clothes and flood like conditions in our tent but it was so worth it to hear the sweet sound of raindrops all night and wake up to the cool breeze. these showers will most likely be far and few between until late summer but for now, i am going to enjoy every minute of them i can!



hit the mark
April 9, 2010, 5:06 pm
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A year ago today I left home—my family, friends, and all the good things in America for Mali, a desert country with temperatures hovering above 100 degrees for most of the year and filled with people who have never heard the Message.  While this past year has definitely been filled with obstacles, hard choices, times of frustration and desperation, and a million and one things that went wrong, it is funny how in such a short time this place has become “home.” I thought about this as I sat with a Bozo man under my mango tree yesterday sharing the good News completely in Bambara. I thought, “A year ago I couldn’t do this, a year ago I didn’t know how to story, a year ago I didn’t know anyone in this country, a year ago I didn’t even know that the Bambara language existed!”  The newness of this country, its people, and its culture has moved from wide-eyed amazement and shock to common everyday experiences. Things that surprised me a year ago have become the very things that I now consider to be “normal.” I have created a life here—a home filled with friends, an outreach group who I long to see know the Lord, relationships that will last a lifetime, conquered a new language, learned to cook EVERYTHING from scratch, learned to ride a bike in a panya (difficult task), pushed myself to live in a hut, learned to love village life, accepted the fact that every meal will be fish and rice, driven to Timbuktu and back, trekked across the desert, accepted that I will always have at least one mosquito bite on me, became quite aware of my weaknesses,  realized new strengths, learned the amazing power of prayer, learned the amazing power of the Word of God, and most importantly I have come to learn what it looks like to be completely and utterly dependent and in love with Christ, my Savior.

If nothing else, this past year in Mali is a tribute to God’s faithfulness. There is no way I could survive here, have a home here, or have any kind of joy here if it weren’t for the constant joy and faithfulness that flows from the Father.

Praise Him for his faithfulness, praise Him for his sovereignty, praise Him that when I doubt He is sure, praise Him that when I falter He is strong, praise Him that He is our Rock and portion forever.

“Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.

For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”

Psalm 117: 1-2

Happy one year to everyone who has come along on the journey with me. One more to go!



winning the battle
March 23, 2010, 8:30 pm
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“uuuugghhh!!” Yep that was screamed in my 5th grade-little-girl-scared-of-bugs-hates-all-things-that-crawl-voice that pops out occasionally when I see what feels like a herd of mice scurrying their cute little selves through my house.

This is getting serious, I don’t know where they come from, or what they are after, I have nothing left! They have taken everything good to me. Ok, Ok, so maybe that is a little bit of an exaggeration but you little mice who think you have free reign of my goods, who steal and destroy during the night, who ravage my kitchen and take what you want…NO MORE!

Mice death count — 6

Goal — EXTINCTION

We will persevere!



i.will.blog
March 20, 2010, 9:17 am
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this is a post purely for myself and all those out there who have harassed me about not posting regularly. this post is serving as my promise that i will post soon, very soon, within the next two days soon. i can’t do it now because 1. i am leaving for a birthday celebration in about five minutes and 2. i am just not energized enough to do it right now. BUT by the end of this post I can feel it, I am going to be motivated and energized, ready and willing to post away!

……

……

…..

ok, so i tried but not quite got the energy yet, but hold me to it, within two days, i’ll blog away. if not feel free to trash talk me all day long!!



the rain
March 3, 2010, 8:33 pm
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a friend emailed me a couple of weeks ago. she shared in her email many of the struggles she is dealing with right now and how she is doubting that God even loves her. she asked me, “hannah, you have been through a lot, you have seen more heartbreak than most people I know, how in the world do you still have faith in God? how do you believe that he wants good for you when he constantly takes things away from you?”

i thought about her question for awhile before answering, i had a lot of things i wanted to share with her, mostly about God’s sovereignty and the promise that he works all things for the good of those who love him (rom 8:28). all these thoughts from scripture came racing to mind that i could tell her. but as i thought about it more, God gave me a few simple words to share with her instead.

God chose me from the beginning, he molded me by his very hands. he knew me before i was even born. when i was older, i chose him. i chose him as my savior and sustainer, i chose his mercy and his freedom instead of a life on my own. i chose him long before these rainy days when the storms came pounding down.  friend, this is why i have faith in him even now, after two of the roughest years of my life. he changed me for the good, he didn’t send the rains to beat me down, no friend, he sent the rains so that he could be my shelter during the storm. so how could i turn my back on him when i need him the most? i choose him now, during the storm, i choose to draw close to him instead of abandoning him. i pray that through these times he would give me peace and joy and understanding. i pray that i would be brought to my knees in worship and praise of him, the sovereign God who truly loves me and works all things, works all the storms in my life, for my good because i love him.