July 18, 1998 – Saturday – 10:45 a.m.

I’ve just been going and going with hardly any time to write.  I’m on the bus now, on my way to a township.

Thursday was more drama training and judging; we passed the judging.  Yesterday, we went to the poor, or rich to some, township around Johannesburg.  We performed the drama four times.  I led about seven adults and 100 kids to the Lord.  And that was just me.

On two ministry sites, I took all the boys over to one side to talk to them.  They began chanting and shouting my name as we walked.  I told them about Jesus.  They were so excited with the largest smiles.  “Tell me about Jesus!” they shouted!

They all accepted the Lord as their savior.  I gave them little booklets to read and one kid started reading it out loud to everyone else.  They were all quiet and listened intently.  That happened twice at two different places.

Afterwards, an older guy came up to me and said, “I’m glad you are here.  My life is only about drinking and drugs, and it is getting me no where.  I don’t want to do that anymore.”

He is a Christian now.  His name is Sylvester.

I cried and cried on the bus ride home.  All those little boys hugged me and kissed my cheeks.  I found myself wanting to move here, just so I can teach them the ways of the Lord?  Who is going to be there for them in the future?

Oh God!

You are great, you do miracles so great, there is no one like you Lord.

Advertisements

July 15, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:30 p.m.

Tomorrow is the birthday of two girls on my team: Angela and Sarah.  One will turn 15, the other 19.  Angela has an amazing heart in her and I see a fire in Sarah’s eyes that I never saw in my own Sarah.  And I’m jealous because she is so bright at just 15.

I’ve had some unique food so far, but it has all been pretty good.

Today was dedicated to rehearsal our street drama and we’ve got it down pretty well.

This morning during my quiet time, God showed me how important each of the people here are to him and how happy he makes him to see us sharing our life for this brief time.  Already I feel haunted by their eyes.  The girls here seem so pure.  I like how righteous they carry themselves and how they are saving themselves for their husbands.

And I am doing the same, though my two previous girlfriends so desperately wanted me to touch them.  But even that is too far, for a girl here said a guy should treat a girl like fine china, “no fingerprints.”

Hmmm.

Well, God protected me, and seeing all these pure eyes and pure spirits has given me so much hope that I will marry a woman who loves God as much as the girls around me do.

And I think they see the same in me.  One girl told me this morning that I was such an amazing guy.

Paul just entered.  He is 15, but in no way looks like it.  He is 6’3″ and from Maryland.

John is my other roommate.  He is 19 and from Arizona.

They are both here now.  Time to chat with them.

July 13, 1998 – Monday – 6:30 p.m.

I am flying over the North Atlantic.  We just recently left New York.

The past four days have been amazing; forgive me for not writing during the time, but I was super busy.  My fellow missionaries and leaders are fantastic.  Audrey is my flight partner.  She’s 18 and a senior in high school with really pretty eyes.

The past four days of training alone have already changed me.  I am a different person.  My heart has been broken for the world.  I am ready to change it.

My new buddy Chris is sitting behind me.  The poor guy thew up on the bus ride in New York.  My Mission Advisor Group is myself, Chris, John, and Paul.

This is the most amazing plane I’ve ever been on.  They gave me a blanket, a pillow, socks, and a toothbrush.  Wow!

Every person here is so wonderful.  They are overflowing with the Lord and are completely committed to him.  It’s difficult to begin writing about this new time, for there are simply so many people.

In a few hours I’ll be entering the Southern Hemisphere for the first time.  God is so good.  He is using me to change the world.  There is no joy in a life lived for the self.  Only complete giving of ourselves to God and to others will satisfy.  I love you God!

July 5, 1998 – Sunday – 9:38 p.m.

I went to Parkway Temple this morning.  I felt so welcome!  One woman came straight up to me and told me I had the most beautiful eyes in the world.  Afterwards I went out to lunch with David and two other members of the youth group.

That afternoon I spoke with Emily and Lindy over the phone.  Then I went to the Founder’s Inn on campus and stood in line for 40 minutes to see Mark Lowry in concert.  I stood in line and sat with three beautiful women: one mother, one daughter, and one aunt.  The mom went to Parkway Temple.

Mark Lowry was hilarious.  I saw him many years ago with my mom in Asheboro.  I also got a free ticket to see him on the 700 Club tomorrow morning.  How cool is that!

I feel like God is showing me so much and it’s making him so happy!  Loving God and enjoying everything he has made is the only way to be alive!  He has truly given me an abundant life!

July 3, 1998 – Friday – 4:03 p.m.

Matt and I went to the birthday party with David yesterday.  The girl’s name is Christina and she is turning 34.  Everyone there was what I would call a “spirit-filled revivalist” and we spent five hours praying for each other and in worship.  My body was shaking most of the night.  I was told I have a gift of prophetic intersession and I had a word from the Lord for two people that night.  I was prayed over about four different times and God told me that me being at Regent was not a mistake and it was just the beginning.  Those who prayed for me had fire in their hands, I could feel it.

God moved so much last night.  I made so many new friends and they’re so much older than me.  I’m looking forward to learning so much from them.

What a different world from Lees-McRae, where I was the only charismatic Christian who spoke in tongues until Abigail and Ann-Marie showed up.  But we never got together and prayed for each other like the group last night did.

I talked to my mom last night and she said God was rewarding me to staying faithful to his spirit during my time at Lees-McRae.  Most Christian families I spent time with during my time at Lees-McRae weren’t really “spirit-filled revivalists,” but they sure knew how to love each other and love me in a very practical way.  Perhaps God is showing me the best of both worlds to make me a complete person.

I’m amazed at how he cares for and provides for me.

June 28, 1998 – Sunday – 5:11 p.m.

And now the world is different again.

I went to see Sarah Friday night.  We spent three hours together from 7pm to 10pm.  We ate out at the Rockola Cafe, had some ice cream, took a walk, and then said goodbye to each other in her driveway.

It was a very nice time.  She said she loved me after I said my last goodbye.

I miss her now.  I have so much more in my heart to say, but I would rather put it in letters to her.  Find those letters if you can, for not every thought or every emotion from my life can be found in these books.

So now…

Now.

Now I sit in my new, very clean, apartment in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  My roommate’s name is Matt, and we went out to eat with his parents last night.  They prayed for us.

I went to a huge church this morning called the Rock Church.  I had a good time for being a stranger.  I also drove around this afternoon and did some shopping.  I got lost.  This area is huge and the roads just change their name out of the blue.  I never made a turn, but discovered I was on a completely different road.  Justin came to visit last night as well.  It’s nice there is one Lees-McRae friend who will be here in the summers at least.

Regent is a beautiful campus.  I can’t wait until classes start.

It feels as though I’ve grown up quite a bit in just two day’s time.  It is strange to have a kitchen to take care of.  My neighbors, who are less than 10 feet away, have children.  Matt and I are very young compared to everyone around us; very young.  Most of them have been married for a while, had a career, a couple of kids, and now they are going back to school.  I’m 21.  It feels like everyone around me is 35.

But here I am…in this new place, and I don’t think I’ve fully realized it yet.

Sarah is far away.

I love her so much.

This is crazy, and I haven’t even left for Africa yet.

God is with me, and he takes care of all my needs.

Since he is so close, I am always home.

June 22, 1998 – Monday – 10:36 p.m.

It has been seven months since Sarah and I began.

Seven.

Seven is God’s number of completion.

Things are completed.

The end is here.

God did this. He used me.

Praise the Lord!

I have a dream. Something I want in this life. I call it “three in one.”

Jesus, my girl, and me.

I told Sarah about it. I wanted us to have that. But we never did. She told me she wasn’t ready to talk about her spirit, and she made me believe that her relationship with God was too personal to share, so I waited.

I have waited seven months.

Now that I am leaving, she has confessed to me that she never talked to me about her faith because she was afraid I wouldn’t want to be with her if I knew what she believed.  She called herself a bitch, since she knew the most important part of my life, yet she decided to live a silent lie about it.

It felt good for her to finally talk.  We talked so much more, but I will not give every detail here.  I love her still and I have forgiven her.  I let her know that I was here if she ever needed to talk about what she believes.

She simply doubts, and that is often a great place to be in, for it leads to a deeper faith.

We plan to see each other on Friday and then that will be it.