It is well with my soul

It is well with my soul

This past year has been a roller coaster of twists and turns, highs and lows and some upside down loops. Anyone who has ridden a coaster knows it’s exhilarating but can also cause nausea and if your scared of heights it’s definitely no fun.
We stepped into a calling God Had put in our hearts years before we had even stepped onto African soil. In October we became the directors of Children of Promise and we climbed into our roller coaster seats and buckled up. Right away we started a high vertical climb. The end of last year was HARD! I’m sure the enemy had a field day in those first days, he tried to destroy relationships and mess with any ministry we were doing. In His wisdom we came out of our vertical drop and got our breath.
Shelby and I started to take classes in understanding world views (cultural studies) and we learned to lay any rights we thought we had down in order to honor others. This was not always easy but worth it. We learned how to be friends, we learned how to lead in love, we were cruising on some low hills but picking up speed now. 
Children of Promise has seen change this year, we did things a bit different and for people that like to remain peaceable and without conflict that was hard for us. We followed God and felt our stomachs turn over and over on this uncomfortable stretch of track, as He wrote out a new plan, He raised up a new curriculum and He raised up kids for the program and poured Himself into our local leaders. 
I’m so in love with our COP team! They are the greatest people with the biggest hearts. I love seeing what God is doing daily in the lives of our kids and how He is calling leaders out in Masi. 
The emotional and spiritual twists and turns of this last year have been unforgettable and I see Gods hand and His faithfulness and protection. Working with children who come out of generations of false religion keeps a big target on our backs along with the physical tiredness from working long hours. The enemy isn’t super happy with what we do and we have felt it. 
I sit today just 2 months shy of our year anniversary with COP. We have big God dreams for where COP could be even in one more year. It makes me excited that even though we are tired and feel a bit beat up God has us and this ministry.
Over the last months I have had to wrestle with lies from the enemy. I have felt very alone, forgotten and like the world, friends and loved ones didn’t really see us or our ministry. We long for a church family to embrace us and support us out here on the field and pray that there will be a body of believers that feel just as called to supporting us and Children of Promise as we long for them too. 
We lost half of our support this year! My soul hasn’t felt super well about that, honestly. In Gods grace, every month, He has provided. Last month I had to ask, in an urgent plea, for funds. We were given enough one time donations to pay rent and for that I was so grateful, but no monthly supporters signed up. This has been a very long and upside down part of the ride. I can also tell you how many times God whispers in my ear in this season. How He provides our daily needs even when I worry about what our kids hearts are experiencing. He is close and even though we have fallen out of many peoples sight my God sees us. 
A way He reminded us He sees us was to have a visitor from the States come and stay with us for almost 2 months. It was like a long hug. I know she came to learn and grow in missions but she gave tons and loved us well! We also had the most amazing group of people come from Scotland and serve at COP’s camp and WOW what a huge blessing they were and still continue to be. I love the opportunity to share Children of Promise/Isithembiso with others. 
Extremes have been experienced this year. Gods great favor on our team and ministry is so evident. The fruit that is being seen in our COP kids is evident, they are world changers. It was a hard climb and there were moments I didn’t know if our team could make it, our roller coaster rattled hard. God knew and He was present for us. I would say COP is a definite high point and a true God success story, plus God did deep work in us through the process
The lows are mostly provision based and the feeling of being alone. We have had amazing words spoken over us about God providing and opening up a dam of provision and I just hold onto the miracles He performs daily. I trust Gods calling and His ways. We also pray about what we need to do to fundraiser while on the other side of the world. This feeling grates on a whole family and is hard to live out day to day. I can say we have walked well and have seen God but I can also say we are all tired and would welcome financial relief.  
My hope is by the end of September, as this year comes to a close, God works His miracles and shores up our hearts in a way only He can do. He continues to do deep work in each of us, in our family and our team. I love to see how intimate and in love He is with each of us. There could be a few more dips and dives in the next 2 months but I know God is in control. And when my soul threatens to not feel well I hold onto truth and remember whose roller coaster I am on and truth reigns again.
It is well with my soul,
Andrea
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