Blessed with a Burden.

Good morning/afternoon/evening! (whenever you read this)

Sundays are a little hectic. I have 7 hours (3 different services) of church on a Sunday!! They are busy days but wow- God moved so much in my heart today and taught me so many incredible things. When we open ourselves up for the Lord to speak- he does. Trust me! Halfway through the service tonight I just started laughing because God and I were joking a bit. I love that I serve a God who is so personal and so faithful.

I decided to let you take a peak into one of my journals tonight. If you know me personally you will know that I love to journal. Right now I have my blog, my "computer thoughts", a prayer journal, another journal and a journal where I write down my thoughts from teaching PE classes. Also I have a planner where I write down what I do each day because journaling about daily activities is boring. K- get the point- I like to write down my thoughts:)

Today when I was journaling the Lord whispered into my heart that I have been blessed with a burden. I literally sat on my bed and let that thought sink in for over 20 minutes. I wish I could explain to you how passionate I am about the kids at the boarding house. I wish I could put into words the intense love that I feel for these kids and how I am constantly thinking of ways I can show them God's love and ways I can love on them. I  love people who society loves to forget. I love hanging out with the homeless and believing that disadvantaged children can change their world. So often I get overwhelmed at the amount of children there are in this country and how so many of them don't have families. But God reminded me that He put 17 children in my life this year and He has put me there for Kingdom purpose. That excites me so much and doesn't make me feel so lost. I have more or less a specific task.

This week is school holidays in between terms which means that the hostel closes down and the kids go back to their homes. I miss these kids so much already!! I miss my morning hugs and how they love just looking at me. What broke my heart is that some of my girls were crying on Thursday evening because home is not the safest place to be... I promise you that I was very close to taking these kids home with me for the week. (it will be a huge challenge not to bring them back to Canada with me!)

I am over the "homesickness/nothing is familiar stage" and on a "determined" phase.

I have 17 children that I live with and that God willing I can empower and love. I have been blessed with a burden and I so want to be sensitive to the Lord's leading in this area. So after I journaled/sat on my bed praying for a while I wrote down a bunch of ideas that I would like to accomplish. Here are a few:

1) My room is HUGE! There is no living room or hanging out space at the boarding house. I have budgeted some money out this week to decorate a corner of my room for "Auntie Maddie" time. I am determined to find a couch for free and than I'll spend some time making my room look lovely and creating an atmosphere for the girls and I. I need 1 on 1 time with my girls and there is no place to do that right now. There ages range from Grade 1-Grade 7 and we all know how different the conversations have to be within that age. I can't wait to get decorative and create a space where I can pray with these girls, do devotions and hear their hearts. I will make sure I post pictures when this happens.

2) I have gotten a library card and want to take a child if they are good down to the library to pick out books once a week to read at study time. This gives me time to bond individually with the child, get them out of the boarding house for a few hours and also gives them a job to find books and responsibility to treat the books with care

3) Prayer in the mornings: I really want to pray (not just the Lord's prayer) but over the girls and boys before they start their day.

4) Journals for the kids. I want to find cute journals for these kids so that they can write down their thoughts and what they are feeling. These kids don't have privacy and it would be nice for them to have time to just write (espc. for the older kids)

5) Create scrapbooks for them. Something I adore is looking at pictures of me when I was younger. I realize that many of these kids won't have pictures of themselves.. and I love snapping pictures so I'm thinking my goodbye present to each of them would be a scrapbook. I've been writing down cute quotes they say an funny stories so I'm hoping to add that to the scrapbook. 3 kids will be leaving by December 8 so I need to get started asap

6) Peace Clubs. Eventually Jared and I will be implementing this into the school (January) but we are doing a pilot run at the boarding house to see how things work. This starts soon so please be praying for this. It's ALOT of work.

okay.. I have a few more but I'll stop here for now. I don't want to get ahead of myself of make these goals impossible.. but I am not leaving South Africa with regrets and these are things I would regret not doing.

I WOULD LOVE YOUR IDEAS!! I so appreciate you walking through this incredible journey with me and if you have any ideas on what I can do or implement please let me know. More people = better ideas.

I hope your weekend was splendid and you're feeling refreshed for the coming week.

God's blessed me with an amazing burden  - what's He blessed you with?



  1. Madeline,
    What an awesome and thoughtful list of ideas!
    You are well on your way and are in the process of making a lasting impression on these children!(love the library idea:)
    May the Lord bless all of your ideas as together you bring them to fruition!
    Keep up the good work!
    Joanne from your Dad and Mom's church

  2. Hey Joanne!

    thanks for these positive words of encouragement! they mean o-so-much
    hope you and your family are doing great!


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