Well this blog will be full of the title! Thoughts, News, and Prayer Requests! I will try to stay brief. Let's start with the first thought, I fully believe I'll go to a new level of fully depending on God while I learn to survive without coffee for 10 days in South Sudan. Though this is a random thought it is indeed fully legitimate and on my mind this very moment as I sip from my mug of liquid blessing.
Next let us go to the NEWS... Though I know there is a few of you that only read this blog for my small little insights, convictions, or Biblical thoughts, I'd imagine the bulk of my readers are just those faithful family members, close friends, and peers. Those of you who read this blog just in case I one day off handedly ask if they'd read my blog, to you I say thank you. That being said, because of who you are, I figure ya'll won't mind me sharing some updates and prayer requests here.
First praise God, IMPACT camp was WONDERFUL. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at my session and throughout the week we saw GOD IMPACT MANY LIVES. I just love this camp. Now the next focus is the fact that I LEAVE FOR AFRICA IN 4 DAYS! I would love to lie and say I'm perfectly calm right now, fully prepared, and not nervous at all. UMM yea. Instead I'm still trying to pack up my house to be moved out by wednesday (however my landlord is so incredibly compassionate that she's being patient and helping as much as she can), I'm trying to get some final things together that we need and make some final plans. YEA I just said that "making final plans", let me say this is not my typical way of doing things. It is way out of characteristic for me to still be making plans FOUR DAYS BEFORE I LEAVE THE COUNTRY, but that's how things have happened this time, I'm learning some new words: Calm, Patient, Flexible. SO, A NEW OPPORTUNITY HAS ARISED (i'm not sure if arised is the correct word there, but I'm certain Maegan or Kayce one will let me know if it's not). I was informed while at camp that in Africa along with speaking in some churches, meetings, on a college campus, etc. I have been asked to be on a radio show and also do a television segment. The radio show is a go! However, please join me in praying about the tv segment. This will cost more money which obviously was not in the budget and I also don't want to do anything that is not planned by the Lord even if it looks like a great opportunity. I"m reminded of Oswald Chambers
Temptation is a suggested short cut to the realization of the highest at which I aim - not towards what I understand as evil, but towards what I understand as good.
I have prayed for God to enlarge our area of influence on this trip and this could be an awesome answer to that prayer, join me in seeking the Lord on the finances and His will. Though there is a few busy crazy hectic days ahead I can't help but feel peace about the fact that in less than seven days I'll be in S. Sudan loving on orphans.
Next on the list is the question everyone has been asking. Jess, what are you doing after Africa? Yes, I did resign my position as a teacher/coach at LMS. It is an awesome God story that I'd love to tell you, just ask, write, email, or perhaps I'll share in the blog one day. As of right now I have some options. Some churches and/or ministries have asked me to pray about and consider coming to work with them in the fall. All I know is one thing, I want to be where He wants me. I'm not so concerned about the when's, where's, money, or anything but His desire for me. So, for now I'm just asking Him to show me the where and He'll take care of the rest.
I just want to take one paragraph to talk about something on my heart. I'm reading a book by Jan Hatmaker titled 7. Jan addresses the problem of excess in our society. It's a social experiment slash God inspired fast (ish) where she identifies 7 areas of excess in her life. These are the areas she addresses: Food. Clothes. Possessions. Media. Waste. Spending. Stress.
I'm in the chapter on media right now. In food she picked 7 foods and ate only those for a month. In clothes she picked only 7 articles of clothing and wore those for a month. In possessions she gave away 7 things a day for a month. In media she's now eliminating 7 types of media for a month (including are you ready? texting, facebook, tv, ahhh what would we do?) This being said when I return from Africa I will be starting my own experiment of 7. I'll identify the ares of excess in my life and set out to do the same. This book has convicted me to do some refocusing. I'm letting you know so that if this is something you'd like to do with me. You have one month to get the book, read it, and join with me as I begin on August 1st.
Please pray as I prepare and plan for Africa, please pray that I will heed the Lord's voice as I prepare for the future, please pray for the lives that will be touched in S. Sudan and Uganda. I'll keep yal' posted.
Be Blessed, J. Tate