Here I go!

So I am planning on going to Mali, West Africa in January 2012! I sent out my support letter a couple weeks ago, and my first deadline is coming up. I am supposed to have raised over 3,000 by now & I really don’t know what has come in so far. All I know is that 8 or 10 people have already given. Keep sending in your checks to made out to Grace University with “Edge Scholarship: Stephanie” in the memo line! You can send them to Grace University,  PO Box 3725, Omaha, NE 68103. Or you can give online at http://www.graceuniversity.edu and click on “Give to Grace” in the left-hand side bar.

Keep your prayers coming too! God knows better than anyone what we need. Pray that God moves in the hearts of people to give generously. I know that God has proven to me time and time again how much of a blessing it is to be generous! All we have belongs to God anyway!

By the way, this is a team effort, and in this adventure we will be sharing all the benefits and deficits. Therefore,  pray also that those who are hearing of our need from my other team members will respond faithfully and give generously as well.

More than money,  pray that God prepares our hearts for what lies ahead of us. I have been reading in Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion & Purity. In there she says, “If all struggles and suffering were eliminated, the spirit would no more reach maturity than would the child. The Heavenly Father wants to see us grow up.”

With that in mind, I would ask that you pray not that this journey be easy, but that through the struggles we face, we would grow and be matured in spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Pray also that we would continually offer up to God our worries, fears, anxieties, and uncertainties.

For me, this has been a test in trusting God. My momma taught me this children’s song, and I sing it to myself even now as a gentle reminder –

“One step more.
One step more.
Give me faith for one step more.
One step more.
One step more.
Faith for one step more.”

Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Ransom

Isaiah 51:11 (English Standard Version)

11And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

ran·som

–noun

1.

the redemption of a prisoner, slave, or kidnapped person, of captured goods, etc., for a price.
2.

the sum or price paid or demanded.
3.

a means of deliverance or rescue from punishment for sin, esp. the payment of a redemptive fine.
–verb (used with object)

4.

to redeem from captivity, bondage, detention, etc., by paying a demanded price.
5.

to release or restore on receipt of a ransom.
6.

to deliver or redeem from punishment for sin.

Cold Air

All I could think about was my discomfort. The cold air rushed passed my ears, which made them throb in pain. My lungs sympathized with my ears and felt pain as well.
All I could think about was the beauty of breathing. The cold air filled my lungs and I remembered I was alive.

Sometimes, comfort isn’t what I need. Sometimes I need cold air.

Til Sunset

Fill these empty hands with Your purpose Lord.
These fists were clenched, knuckles white.
Lift them high so I won’t lose this fight.
Because you’re on my side.
You’re here fighting for me even yet.
Holding my hands up and steady ’til sunset.