August 14, 1998 – Friday – 3:00 p.m.

I have the day off and I am sitting alone facing the Atlantic Ocean.  I have discovered the beach for locals, it’s called Sandbridge, and no longer venture to the tourist trap that is Virginia Beach actual.  It is a beautiful day.  The waves are too powerful and no one is allowed in the water.  I just went for a walk and my steps joined in harmony with the crashing waves and the snapping bubbles of the surf.  I sang praises to my Lord and felt my Jesus with me.

The past two days of work were nice, and David and I visited Cindy’s on Wednesday night and enjoyed some yummy pizza.  Oh, and yesterday I called Lindy, and the two of us had the best conversation in the world.

I miss her.

I want her to come and see me.

So, here I am.  I will turn 22 after this weekend, I’ve experienced the beginnings of wonderful new friendships, and I’m facing a body of water that touches Africa, a land from which I have just returned.  And I’m about to start film school!

David has complimented me many times on how well I fit in with all the different groups of people.  Yet, he also says that when I blend in, I do it without changing who I am.

Wow, 19 pelican just flew over my head, all in a straight line.  Perhaps one day I can blend in with them and fly away.

But it is nice to have this sand, this earth, while I can.  I’ll be able to fly some day, but it is not now.  Now, I have the joy of sitting in complete peace with myself.  I can’t believe the world is full of so much beauty and so much love.

I love you God.

I love you.

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August 12, 1998 – Wednesday – 1:10 a.m.

The 11th of August was an amazing day!  I woke up, went for a prayer walk around the campus, and read and studied my Bible until I went to work at the bookstore, where I trained with David.  I went to see Saving Private Ryan, and then went to a girl named Cindy’s house and helped her move.  I came back to my apartment and had an awesome prayer time with Matt, my roommate and two other students named Jeff and Jason.  God showed up, cleansed my heart, and I felt forgiven and fantastic!

Saving Private Ryan was beyond fantastic!

“Earn this.”

Jesus died for me, but no matter what I do, I can never do enough to earn this grace he has freely given me.  It is his to give, not mine to earn.  For some odd reason, I have found favor with him.

And he just told me that I was already worth dying for.

So, he is definitely worth living for.

August 10, 1998 – Monday – 5:45 p.m.

I only have one week left to be 21.

Today was great!  I had some training at the bookstore and then all the employees there went to the beach for a cookout.  I had the best time.  It was myself, Matt, David, and new people I met today: Steven, Dawn, Sarah, Jenny, Channing, Donna, Katy, Aaron, and Amy.

Great people; not all of them go to Regent, but they all love the Lord!

David and I played in the waves and talked about South Africa and it made me miss the place even more.  Matt had really dug deep in to community while I was away.  He has been going to prayer meetings and such.  I’ve been invited to one tonight.

I found out my mom and family are not in Florida yet.  They are in Atlanta.  The RV broke down.  I haven’t talked to them yet.  I haven’t talked to anyone from my old world yet.  I’m afraid to I think.  I’m afraid it will seem like they are all in slow motion and that I’m moving forward so quickly that we’ll be out of reach of each other.

Thank you God for this job.  Thank you for this place.  You are so good to me.  I love living with you and for you.  You have always placed me in a family of believers, no matter where you have called me.  Please speak to me tonight at this meeting.

August 9, 1998 – Sunday – 7:20 a.m.

I’m now leaving the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.  Yesterday’s debriefing sessions were really nice.  I took a lot of notes and Dan and I got spent some cool time together out by the entrance of the campus near the huge fountain.  I’m so glad he is with Abigail.  They are a good thing.

I haven’t slept hardly any.  Maybe an hour or two.

Matt is supposed to pick me up in Norfolk.  It’ll be nice to be in my new place again.

This has been a very quick month.  I begin my new job tomorrow and Matt also told me when I called him on Friday that he got a job at the bookstore too.

I saw the sunrise over the flat Texas landscape this morning.  It was a beautiful sign that another chapter has ended.  My collection increased greatly; so many face; so many eyes.  This has really been a good thing.

There were 150,331 documented decisions made for Christ this summer.  Over 10,400 were from our South Africa team.

My birthday is coming up, but no one knows about it.  I feel so hidden now compared to when I was at Lees-McRae.  But I know new friends are around the corner and new challenges and accomplishments lie before me.  I’m excited about Regent and all God is going to do there.

Goodbye to all those amazing moments in South Africa and with Teen Mania ’98.

 

August 7, 1998 – Friday – 7:00 a.m

I’m in America!  America the beautiful.  Everyone working in the Miami airport though speaks Spanish.  I have yet to hear English.

I am in the same state as my parents; the same state as Emily.

So, according to all the news magazine covers, it appears the world is going nuts over something Bill Clinton did.  I’m not sure what exactly, but there is this other woman on the covers that is not his wife.  I’m back in America for one second and I’m already disgusted.

Ducky is here with me now.  Her real name is Amy.  I call her Ducky because she kinda looks like Ducky from The Land Before Time.  She keeps glancing over here and reading everything I write.  Doesn’t she know journals are personal?  Quit looking!

Ha, she’s smiling now.

I’m sure I’ll read this a few years from now and have a good laugh.  Thanks Ducky!

August 6, 1998 – Thursday – 8:55 p.m.

I am in Cape Town, South Africa.  We just flew here from Joburg.  We will soon me leaving for Miami, FL.  It’s my first time in this town and soon it’ll be my first time in Miami.  The flight will take 14 hours.  Right now it is 3pm in Miami.

We had some nice team-time yesterday to really appreciate each other and all that has happened.  This time has truly been fantastic.  I took some time this morning to personally thank God for it, and I will continue to do that every day.

Our safari outside Sun City, South Africa was amazing.  I saw Rhinos, Hippos, Elephants, Zebras, and even cheetahs.  I took so many pictures!  We even drove into Sun City and I hope someday to return there and bring my wife.  It is so beautiful.  We ate ostrich and elephant.  I even ate three worms that tasted like wet popcorn.  At first I thought they were good, but then quickly changed my mind.

We went to another restaurant today and ate more exotic food like zebra and rhino; that is some different meat for sure…it doesn’t taste like chicken.

We are in the air now.  I see the midnight waves crashing upon the shores of Cape Town below.

I will miss this time in my life, but I know only better times lie ahead.

You constantly amaze me God.  I love you.

August 5, 1998 -Wednesday – 8:30 a.m.

Yesterday was our final day of ministry, and we went out with a bang.  Three of our four teams came together and did the drama simultaneously.  We led an entire township to the Lord.  Today we will do some debriefing and then go on a safari.  We head out to the airport tomorrow.

So much has happened during my few weeks here.  I have seen poverty unlike I ever have before.  I have so much to be thankful for, including my health.  I’ve dealt with my pride, and know with confidence that I do not want to return to Sarah.  This time was a great way for me to transition from college to graduate school.  Being here, I have realized how much my heart longs for the salvation of the American people.

So, after seeing some fantastic African animals in the wild, I will humbly return to America and serve my God.  I am nothing and the salvation of one more person is everything.