7.18.2011

More African Thoughts

Proverbs 28:5
      "Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the Lord understand all things."

This verse has sat so strongly on my heart. I'm trying to prepare myself for this coming year and nothing seems to be working. For those of you who don't know I'm spending a lot of time at the school empowering women through physical activity. I'm spending a huge chunk of time showing/teaching (who knows?) these precious girls that they are loved and that they are equal. Pietermaritzburg accepts gender inequality. Basically girls are less than boys. Girls don't measure up to anything a boy can do, therefore they are worth less.

Obviously this is a lie and is false and my job is to show that to these girls. I'm not sure how to show this and as I mentioned before I really have no idea what I'm doing or how to prepare for this crazy adventure. Currently at Project Gateway (the school I am working at) the boys play sports and the girls watch. They watch because they do not feel equal to play with the boys. There is a huge lack of empowerment.
One of my main jobs over the course of the year is to integrate both the girls and the boys gym classes together. The plan is to start with separate classes and focus on empowering the girls that they can run and play. In the boys gym class I hope to establish a level of respect for the girls. After 6 months (or whenever) the goal is to than put the classes together and see what happens. To teach fairness and equality.  What an incredible challenge this is! I'm already so humbled and blessed that I have an opportunity like this before me. I can't wait to get started however I'm more nervous than I ever have been in my life.
Scripture is so powerful and so true, so I'm clinging to many verses as I prepare for this journey. One verse I want to share with you is found in 2 Corinthians 11:10  "As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia." I can't wait for my feet to firmly be planted in South Africa and just as Paul writes I desire for my boasting to continue about the Lord! The challenges ahead of me are huge and the devil has a plan for my life as well but I know that with God all things are possible and I get to rest each and every day in the fact that he knows best. Yes, to be honest I am a little worried about the experiences and challenges that will come my way. Maybe the boys will hate me, what if the girls don't care? What if they don't listen or believe?  However, every time I step back and take a look at this coming year I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to affect change. Just like the verse says about boasting in Christ, I honestly can't wait to talk about how much God loves each and every one of these children, no matter if they are male or female. I can't wait to tell the girls that God loves them just as much as he loves the boys! In such a broken culture I can't wait to see how the Lord is going to use me when it comes to abolishing years of gender discrimination at the school.

So I realized how much I am rambling on this post! But now that I've started I guess I'll finish my thoughts..

I don't know what my future holds this next year. I may never see the girls and boys treat each other like equals by the time I leave. The girls could still sit at the side of the field and watch. That is a very real reality that could happen. But at the same time, what would happened if I could empower one girl, if I could show God's love to one young boy. My trip would be worth it. In preparing for this trip my heart is already so content because I know whether I see it or not that the Lord is working already and will continue to work once I get there. I fully know that God does his thing. What God wants to do he does. When he speaks things happen. I know the Lord doesn't need me to do anything, but because he loves me, delights in me and has a plan for me, he wants to use me. I know the Lord is doing big things at Project Gateway and I am so ecstatic that the Lord has called me to be apart Kingdom purpose!

A final thought I want to leave with you today (or whenever you read this) is something the Lord has put  on my heart HUGE- that sometimes we want to change circumstances, we want something to go smoother or work faster etc etc.. but what the Lord is teaching me is he doesn't want those circumstances to change but wants me to change. He wants my attitude to change, my heart to change. Linking this back to the first verse in Proverbs, the Lord wants to change us and transform us into his likeness so that we will understand all things. What an amazing promise that is to cling onto.

I know I am called for the rest of my life to fight injustice. I can't wait to leave in 23 days and hold children who have been robbed of their childhood and hear their stories. I desire to seek the Lord so I can understand all things and understand how to show his love to a world so desperate for it.

I leave so soon!!
Love Maddie

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