Monday, August 27, 2012

Cape Town week 2

So I went through week 1 of my Cape Town trip pretty quickly on the last post, so now its on to week 2!  I believe I left off last time at the Saturday night braai at the McGinty's.  By the way I must say that the McGinty's worked so hard and did so much to host our team the entire time we were in Cape Town.  It is a lot of work for a missionary family to host of mission team, but we felt so well taken care of.  So let's pick up the next morning which was the 2nd Sunday morning we were there.  So we got up and headed out to worship at a church in the Gugulethu township.  It was such an awesome time of worship where everyone there was truly joyful and showing it in their worship.  It was also very much a day that was dedicated to the Lord.  They got started around 9am and the service went until a little after 12.  Often times here in the States when we are in worship, we get impatience if the sermon goes longer than 30 minutes, and we start looking at our watches if worship goes beyond the 1 hour mark.  These brothers and sisters in Christ there in Gugulethu were in no hurry to be anywhere or do anything except worship the Lord.  Also, when they worshipped they had great joy in the Lord and they actually showed it!  They were not afraid to express their emotions as they worshipped their Father in heaven.  So often in our "reformed" traditions at least, we are afraid to express too much joy and emotion in our worship, but their at Gugulethu, they were making a joyful noise to the Lord, and it was truly joyful!  By the way, this church is reformed in their theology.  Another really cool thing was that most of the worship was in their own language called Xhosa.  It was beautiful to here the Lord worshipped in their own language!

Coby speaking at the Gugulethu church about our mission week.
Standing outside of the Gugulethu church after worship.
So later that evening we went back for an evening worship time at the Message church (the one we went to the Sunday night before).  This was the church that is very close to the campus of UCT and is made up of many UCT students.  This was also a very sweet time of worship.  

The next morning (Monday morning) we got up early and headed to the Student Y to begin our big mission outreach week on campus.  We began every morning gathering in prayer for the day.  One of the wonderful things about this outreach was the fact that it was so covered in prayer.  It was very important to the ministry to pray knowing that we did not have the ability apart from the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel on the UCT campus.  So each day after praying together, we all headed up to upper campus and set up the props out on the Jamison plaza (the main gathering place for students on upper campus).  Here are a couple of photos of our set up there:

The scales of justice that we build
Our big white board we build for students to write on
Interacting with students on plaza with a beautiful view of the mountain in the background
So each afternoon after talking to students all day we gathered together again for a time of debriefing, sharing about our conversations, and prayer.  In the evenings we would go different directions to attend bible studies or to simply spend time with the students.  It was so encouraging to spend time with the students who were involved with the Student Y to see how mature many of them were in the Lord.  In just a short 2 week time I build such great relationships with a number of these students.  I miss them a great deal.  
By the end of the week we were tired but very excited about everything that we had seen the Lord do.  A number of students had come to know Christ for the 1st time!  We were able to plant hundreds of seeds of the gospel as well.  The encouraging thing about this also is that we got contact information from many of these students and the Student Y will be praying for and following up with these students to grow these seeds that were planted.  When Friday came it was time to gather for the Student Y large group worship (called HUB) that evening.  This was our last night in Cape Town and it was a bitter sweet time.  The worship was one of the most wonderful times I had ever had.  There were probably 80 students there from all over southern Africa (such as Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, of course S. Africa, and many others) and we were all worshipping Christ together with a great sense of joy!  These students love the Lord and they love to express it in their worship.  It was one of those times were I felt like I got a taste of what heaven will be like!
Gathering together for HUB!
The next morning, Coby and his two sons picked Todd and I up to go meet a few of my new S. African brothers to watch a rugby game with them.  It was the Eastern Cape province team playing a province team from New Zealand.  The New Zealand team won, but it was still a blast just hanging out with them before we left.  After that we all packed up our stuff and gathered at the McGinty's house with some of the students and had a debriefing time and a great time of prayer.  The Beadle's came by to hang out as well, which was awesome!  It was an emotional time as we all said our goodbye's with some of these awesome students!

Hanging out before we left for the airport.  Miss these guys!
After this trip a have a greatly renewed sense of the importance of doing evangelism.  We must always be ready to proclaim the hope that is within us, and to do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).  The riches of this great mystery has been made known to us, which is Christ in us, the hope of glory.  And it is him we proclaim, that many may be presented mature in Christ (Col 1:27-28).  We are also called to worship the Lord with great JOY (Ps 47:1; 66:1; 81:1; 95:1-2; 98:4-6; 100:1) and that is what we must do.  Worshipping with these students as well as the people of the Gugulethu church reminded me that we must do this.  Scripture doesn't say "don't get too excited in your worship" says "shout for joy to the God of Jacob!"  I am so thankful for my time in Cape Town!  In my next blog I hope to write about the wonderful couple of days I had in England with the Donahoos!

3 a.m.

I have been awake since 3 a.m.   Not only that, but this is the third night in a row of being wide awake at this hour.  It kinda puts me in a poopy mood.  I laid in the bed for over an hour trying to force myself back to sleep, but it wasn't happening.  It didn't help that my sweet little Evelyn was wide awake too wiggling all around.  I love feeling her move, but kinda like my sleep too :)
SO...guess I could blog since I am up!  I haven't blogged in a while.  We are gearing up for Michael's classes to start tomorrow.  He is hoping to get on top of his school work for the semester so that when baby girl decides to make her big debut, he won't get overwhelmed and behind.  Hopefully he can do that (meaning get a little ahead....).  I am now 35 weeks prego!  Crazy!!!  We are just about a month away from the due date.  I am definitely starting to feel ready at least in terms of ready to meet her, not necessarily in terms of having everything done before she gets here.  There are things still that need to be prepared (like maybe at some point I should think of packing a hospital bag...), but physically I am feeling ready.  Swelling has definitely started.  I actually looked at a picture we took the morning I went into labor with SK and I feel like I have already surpassed that size belly.  Maybe I could actually take a good belly pic soon and let you see.  Maybe....
I had a doc appointment on Friday and it went smooth.  I didn't do an ultrasound this time, but will have another (this one being the last!) next week.  After that I will go weekly!  At the last ultrasound over 2 weeks ago, Evelyn was measuring in at 4 pounds 6 ounces!  She is definitely looking like she will weigh more than SK did at birth.  We are so thankful that she has grown well this pregnancy and everything has gone smoothly.  God is so good!!
In other pregnancy news...maybe I should give some more details.
I have a major love for ice lately.  Maybe it has to do with me being hot all the time, but I love to chew me some good ice.  Thankfully, we live on campus, where we can walk up to the student center and get me some whenever it is open...which sometimes means 3 times a day I do this :)
Other cravings include root beer, italian ice (same theory as above...), taco salad, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, ice cream, root beer floats, and popcorn.
I think that about sums up what I like to munch on these days :)
We have just about finished putting together Evelyn's nursery too.  I will have to get in there and take some pictures soon.  Pinterest definitely inspired some fun ideas for her room.  I think it has turned out super cute!  That will have to be another blog post soon.  While I am wide awake, I don't think the rest of my family would appreciate me turning on lights and taking pictures at this hour.
I should probably do a SK update too, but maybe that will be another blog....add it to my list right???
I think I am done with this random middle of the night post.  I might be wide awake, but that doesn't mean I am clearly thinking and making sense as far as a good blog post.  Forgive me :)
Off to eat I guess.  I wonder if popcorn would wake everyone up??? :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cape Town week 1

Well if your still interested in hearing more about the Cape Town trip and you haven't lost hope that I'd finish blogging about it...thanks for hanging in there!  So I left off last by talking about getting to Cape Town and how the first day there was.  So that evening I talk to Rodger Beadle who is a recent Covenant graduate and he and is family are from Cape Town.  They had just gotten back to Cape Town about a month before I got there.  So we talked and planned to get together the next morning for breakfast before church.  I was so excited to get to see the Beadle family.  All of us at Covenant have missed them a great deal since they left.  So Sunday morning I got up and the Beadles came by where we were staying and picked me up and took me to breakfast.  They didn't just take me anywhere though.  They took me to this beautiful beach/bay area in Cape Town called Camps Bay.  We ate breakfast across the street from the beach and then walked over to the beach.

Me with the Beadles!

So I am starting to realize that I am getting long winded here and I could probably write a blog for everyday of my trip, so I will try to sum up the 1st week a little better.  So we got to visit a different church Sunday night and then began our week the next day by visiting the Student Y ministry building and toured the campus.  The next day we went out to False Bay to the Bible Institute where the Wannamakers serve and then headed out for a couple of sightseeing visits (I know it was a mission trip, but you can't go to Cape Town and not see some of God's beautiful creation there).  So we headed out to a beach where there are a bunch of penguins.  Then headed out to Cape Point, which is the southern point of Africa, and where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic.
Look at all the penguins!
Cape Point on the Cape of Good Hope
Pocher and I went to talk to students on campus together
Wednesday we worked at the Student Y by building the props that we would use for the mission week the next week, and some of us went on campus to talk with students.  Thursday we spent the day with Susan Newkirk, who works with children in the townships.  We went to a school in on township to put on a skit for the kids that Susan works with.  Friday morning I got up with some of the guys and we went to an early morning guys bible study called Ironman.
Some of the girls working on our props for the mission week
Hanging out with some of the students from the Student Y!
To round out the week, we got up Saturday morning to go work on a remodeling project at a local orphanage.  Our group spent all morning painting.  Afterwards some of the team went on a hike with some of the students to the side of devils peak and others went downtown to hang out together.  That evening we all went over to the McGinty's for a braai (an Afrikaans word for barbecue) with the other MTW missionaries in Cape Town.

What a wonderful 1st week it was and there are so many things that I am having to leave out just to keep this blog from being ridiculously long!  So week 2 coming next!  Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting there is half the fun!

Well, as promised, I am back to tell you more about the amazing things that the Lord is doing around the world...and within the Davis family!  So as you have heard, this mission trip to Cape Town including the short but amazing time in Culcheth, England was incredible and truly life changing.  Really it was.  If you are reading this and have even a little bit of a desire to go on a mission trip to another culture...DO IT!  Don't talk yourself out of it like I have done so many times before.  The Lord will truly change you.  You will come back to your own culture and context with a more holistic view of the church and of what it means to do ministry wherever you are.

So if you will bear with me I'd love to share my experience with you.  So first of all, getting to Cape Town takes a little while.  As in 2 days of flying and sitting in airports...but was it ever worth it!  We took off from St. Louis for a quick hop up to Chicago where we then boarded a plane for London.  We flew overnight to London and landed the next morning about 11:30 local time.  We had a 7.5 hr lay over in Heathrow before we flew back out for Cape Town, so we saw the sights in Heathrow (because Heathrow is more of a city than an airport!)

Then we rested for a while until time to board our next overnight flight to Cape Town!  And Yes, that means I didn't see a bed or a shower for 2 days.  The flight was around 11 hrs and unfortunately I didn't sleep quite as much as I would have liked, but when we arrived in Cape Town that next morning adrenaline kicked in as saw the MTW missionaries we were there to serve with along with several other staff from the Student Y (the campus ministry at the University of Cape Town).  So that whole day we struggled and failed at times to stay awake the whole day so that we could go to bed at normal local time.  Here are a few casualties...

Hanging out and awake at the moment!
The McGinty's (the MTW missionaries who work with the student Y and were our wonderful hosts for the trip) had us hang out at there home and cooked us a wonderful South African meal called Bobotie which had ostrich meat in it.  They also let me try some of the Biltong (very similar to what we call beef jerky) made from Kudu meat.  So my first day in S. Africa and I have eaten 2 animals that I have never had before!  Oh, and I learn a little bit about how to play cricket!  
Here is my pitiful attempt to "bowl" the ball...

Well, if you're still with me, stay tuned for more later.  I hope to tell you all about week 1 in Cape Town next time, but for now... I gotta go to bed!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All together :)

It is nice to have my hubby home.  Really nice.  Hopefully he will blog some more about his time in Africa and England soon.  I know I have enjoyed hearing all of details of his time there and how the Lord spoke to him during that time and used him there as well.  Don't you want him to blog more???
Anyways, we are all back together now and that makes this preggo lady happy.  I accomplished a good amount of things for Evelyn's room while he was gone and he has been awesome since he got back to cheek some more things off the list to get ready for this little girl's arrival.  The room is really starting to look cute!  I know having a fixed up nursery is totally not necessary, but I sure do enjoy doing it :)  I like to be crafty.  And it has been fun to do it in thrifty ways too.  I hope to have some pics soon of some of the projects we have done.  The room is still not photo ready :)  but we did get the bunting hung yesterday and frame for above the crib.   Oh...and speaking of the crib.  We went Saturday to get the crib out and put together only to discover that the hardware is MIA.  Somehow in the last 3 moves the hardware got lost.   Sad, sad day.  BUT, the crib company sent out a replacement hardware set yesterday (FOR FREE!), so we should be able to have it put together this weekend!
We are enjoying some down time around here before the fall cranks up in a couple of weeks.  Michael is getting back to work, but doesn't have classes yet, so we are soaking up some family time before things get more busy.
I am 33 weeks pregnant now.  Woohoo!  Getting closer :)  I should do a belly pic, I guess.  I am def. getting bigger according to the scales.  I went to the doc last Friday and now will start going every other week.  I can't believe we are at that point!  We had our ultrasound (which I get at every appt) and little girl is growing great!  According to the ultrasound she is weighing in at 4 lb. 6 oz!   That is huge compared to SK, who weighed 5 lb. 14 oz. at birth (40 weeks and 3 days!)  I think we will be surpassing that this time around, esp. if we go all the way to 40 weeks!
SK and Michael got to come this time and see her which was lots of fun.  So far to me and Michael she is looking like SK in the face, with a little button nose.  We shall see though.  Evelyn definitely likes to be all folded up in my tummy.  For the last few months, she has had her foot on her head somehow during the ultrasound.  It's amazing how folded up they can get in there and be comfy!
Alright, we are off to the zoo today for a fun day! soon as everyone gets up and moving that is...
Hope everyone else has a great day too!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Broader Glimpse at the Body of Christ

Hello everyone...Michael here.  So I went on this little trip to Cape Town, S. Africa and stopped through England on the way back.  There is so much to tell, but I cannot do justice to what I experienced on this trip.  I hope to write a series of blogs to make an attempt at it though.  For now I just want to say that it was incredible.  I am so thankful for the privilege of getting to experience what God is doing in other parts of the world.  Michelle and I have had a heart for going international and the Lord has fanned that flame in our hearts through this trip.  Though Michelle was not able to join me on this trip it is amazing how God has moved her heart along with mine through this experience.  I must say that I am so thankful to be back with my girls.  The Lord gave us grace abundantly to sustain us while we were apart.  We certainly felt your prayers for us during this trip.  Well, as I said, I hope to say much more about this trip, but for now I will say that I have been bound to a number of brothers and sister in Christ through this trip.  I now have family in South Africa whom I love dearly.  I praise God for these new relationships in Christ.  Let me leave you with a few things that Lord used to move my heart toward a great love for him and his body.

The Lord lead me to Psalm 34 during this trip where I mediated on experiencing the goodness of God through being in intimate relationship with him in Christ.  One of my friends in S. Africa was explaining to me how he had really grown in his friendship with Christ since he had come to the University of Cape Town.  If you are a Christian, how much do you value intimacy with Christ?  Psalmist invites us to "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him" (Psalm 34:8).

We sang a familiar song at HUB (the Friday night large group worship time that the Student Y ministry comes together for every week) that really stuck with me.  The reason it stuck with me is because of the way we all sang it together.  The students sang it with all their heart and it was beautiful to look around and see nations from all over southern Africa worshipping Christ together.  It was a taste of what heaven will be like.  You may know this song well, but let me share the lyrics with you:

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

More to come later, but here are a few pictures for now:

On campus at UCT for the big mission outreach
 The beauty of God's creation at Cape Point
A view of the city below and Table Mountain above
Brothers (and sister!) in Christ

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On the countdown...

We are t-minus 6 days till Daddy returns.   I am so ready too.  We are hanging in there, but have definitely had moments of really missing him.  Yesterday morning was a morning I really missed him.  It didn't help that we had plans to go somewhere only to get to the van and realize that I had left my door slightly cracked and the car battery was dead.  That made for a rough morning.  I will say though that it has been awesome to see the Lord provide for me and Sk in so many ways while Michael has been gone.  Yesterday morning I wanted to break down and just sob, but the Lord was quick to show me that He will take care of every little detail and I am not sitting here in St. Louis alone even though my husband is across the world.  Within no time of discovering my car troubles I had multiple offers for vehicles to borrow, neighbors helping fix the car, and offers to help in whatever way I might need.  I am thankful to live in such a community that we are all family and are following the Lord's call to be the hands and feet of Jesus to each other.  I truly felt that yesterday.
And there have been multiple other times where SK and I are sitting in the apt. with no plans for the rest of the day and I start to get in a dumpy mood and want to sulk, then my phone rings.  Someone inviting us to play or eat with them or go do something together.  I mean really, within a few minutes most of the time when I get in that dumpy mood, the Lord won't let me stay there.  He is the great provider and has been for me so clearly the last 2 weeks.
So as hard as it has been to not have my hubby around, the Lord has and is using this time to show me His great love for me.  I am not thankful enough.  I don't rely of His strength enough.  I have seen that so clearly lately.
My mom flies in today till Sat. and I have a list of things hopefully to accomplish around the house.  Then, Michael will be back only a few days later!   We are on the homestretch!  I can't wait to hear more details from MIchael about his time in Cape Town.  He will actually be flying out on Sat. evening to London, but then spending a couple days in Manchester (north of London) with some friends of ours there.  I know he is looking forward to that time.
Alright, off to start my day!  More to eat!