Monday, September 24, 2012

going the distance....

Amazing - it has been 5 years since we first arrived here in Africa.

The girls on our first day in August of 2007.
 When I first heard about living in here in Malawi - I had imagined what living in Africa was like - I thought of living with my cow for milk and trying to wash my clothes by hand.  I had seen too many movies or National Geographic’s.  I recently asked a graduate of ABC of how his trip to America was.  He lived in New Jersey for a year working with inner city youth as an intern.  He said,  "It wasn't the America that I knew” I said, "what was the America that you knew?"  And he replied, " it's not like the movies - it's real life there and people struggle there too."  

And from that point I say Africa is not like the movies or National Geographic.  It is deeper and richer than I could of ever imagined.  I am definitely transformed by what I have learned while living here.  Sadly - when I went on a short-term missions trip  (this is all hind sight) I was deeply impacted by that trip.  But I would say now, that I came back to America angry at how blessed we are and spoiled we are.  But after living a long time away from home - I have come to the knowledge that WE ALL have our issues. I got hung up on the wrong thing.  Yes we are blessed in America and a wee bit spoiled.  I also have realized, I have so much respect for those people where ever (America, Africa, Europe or anywhere on the planet ) they may be, that are digging in and investing in things that are way more than surface stuff.  There are solid people everywhere.  It's the everyday choice that we make in what we are going to spend our energy doing.  What are we going to invest in?  Whether we are just trying to survive or we have wealth - what are we doing with our time and our resources?  Are we being a good steward of what God has entrusted us with?  As we invest our time and energy that is where we will see true change.  Change and transform don't come with a short time invested.  It comes by the long haul.  Even if it gets hard and obstacles come, that is where you dig in and help make change from the inside out.  

I am sharing this because as we have been here investing and digging in here at African Bible College - this is where it happens for us.  This is where God wants us to be a good steward of what he has given us. We are to be investing in our family, teaching classes and people that come along the way.  Change happens slowly ,not instantly or even in a month. It happens in the everyday moments of life.  That is why it is so fun to serve a school where we get to invest in student’s lives for the longevity of it.   We get to meet them when they are freshmen and rejoice in the richness of our friendship when they graduate 4 years later.  What a joy that is.  The education that ABC has provided has deeply transformed their lives.  Amazingly - we also get to be educated and transformed.  We learn about our differences and grow together over time- through story after story. This comes through time and going the distance even when things aren't perfect or bumps come along.  We work through it and are truly blessed on the other side.  If we are willing, we both are enriched from the relationship that  we now have - and the joy is that we get to share it here on Earth and in Heaven.  How blessed we are.  This is why we are here at ABC.  Investing in people!  It's never easy, but that's why we got Jesus to rely on and what a privilege to be right here - right now!

  Below is one of the many people we get to share everyday life with.  

Tina and Funa with the girls in January 2008. Look how little the girlies are!

Funa with the girls this July on her birthday

 Thanks for loving, praying and supporting us as we are here serving the King of the universe and being deeply transformed by daily choosing to dig in!
Love- amy louise for the stauffy family!

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