Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sarah's finals thoughts from the Jones' visit

Hello friends and family,

Well the weekend has arrived and I finally have time to sit down and write about the great experiences of this week. Lauren and Tre left yesterday afternoon, which was then followed by a thick cloud of sadness, which even surprised me. Guys, I was SO SAD when they left and it took me the whole night to get over it. The time we shared with them was so rich and fantastic that I literally felt a weight of grief when it had to come to an end. How good is our God that He has lavished me with so many tremendous gifts! I am so blessed to have a sister that is kind, gifted, loving, God-fearing, and beautiful. She is an incredible person to even know, and I get to share her as my sister. It was a gift to do ministry with her this week and just to have her by my side. She has a beautiful heart for women, for loving them, building them up, and helping them to vision a greater life then they would see on their own. She has so many things in her future. And then there is my brother-in-law, Tre, whom I truly consider my brother. He is full of joy, love, humility, and strength. To see him in action in ministry, teaching, and lavishing kids with love was fantastic. He is a terrific minister of God, husband, and brother. So yeah! I was sad when Friday came!!

One thing I thought about this week was that I had wished to give them this incredible ministry experience while they were here; you know, the best week ever!! But it’s pretty near impossible to create this kind of experience for anyone, and especially here in South Africa. Our ministry here is very relational, and it builds deeper and wider each week because of the time we spend with the people here. When we leave we might have little to count and show for our ‘successes’ but I know God is using us here to touch hearts and love deeply. So on Friday morning I was scared that they didn’t have a great enough ministry experience, when the Lord reminded me that the goal of a real missionary is not to be able to count successes or triumph in what has been created, but find joy in ‘coming close’ to real people and allowing God to love them in deep ways. Truly, Lauren and Tre were able to touch hearts while they were here through the great love of God, and they were definitely able to see the heart of Africa and God’s great work towards the people here. So as always, God is good!

Thanks to all of you in Nashville who supported Lauren and Tre on this trip! It was a great gift to us and to the people here in South Africa. And I trust that they were able to see the heart of God through the eyes of the beautiful people we served together here.

Love you all!


Kerry said...

sarah - i BET it was sad to have your sister leave. it sounded like y'all had an awesome visit though. i SO wish i could visit!

you are amazing at speaking the truth you know about people and who they are - reading your words about lauren and tre made me realize how vulnerable and honest you are about just saying exactly how you see people! and that's a gift. VERY few people know how to do that, or even just do it in general. so thank YOU for that amazing part of your character!

love you and miss you, SOOOOOOO MUCH!


Alicia Collins said...

It touches me so that you are so close to your sister, that all is forgiven for past mistakes on both sides. I loved knowing the four of you partnered together to spread God's love to these people. He is wanting us to fellowship together in loving others. How special is that!! I am so blessed to have you both, Lauren and Sarah as daughters.
Much love, Mom