Friday, July 8, 2016

Be Strong and Courageous

It's Friday and today was all about courage. Jason and Hannah shared in bible study that God calls us to be courageous. Courage could also be described as bravery, and boldness. And God gives us the courage through His promise that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. And our God is faithful!

Hannah started our morning off with the devotional on the fruits of the spirit. That act demanded great courage for a girl of nine years old.

The boys worked hard on their studies this morning and then enjoyed a great bible study from both Jason and Hannah.

The boys got up and sang loudly and danced at some worship songs. It takes great courage to step out, dance and sing at the top of your lungs. One young boy that doesn't speak English very well watched and mimicked every move I made, and even started singing along - "I have decided to follow Jesus...".

In the afternoon we decided to play some games with the kids. All the way from the US we brought Pie Face and Bean Boozled. Pie Face is a game of chance where you could, quite possibly, receive a handful of whipped cream to your face.

Bean Boozled is a game involving Jelly Beans that are the same color, and while one might taste good, the other could be some disgusting flavor. (I.e. Tutti-Fruiti and Stinky Socks are the same pink hue.) The boys took turns on each of these games, risking a nasty flavored jelly bean or a face full of whipped cream on each turn. As silly as these games were, many boys showed bravery with each click of the handle or as they carefully selected each jelly bean.

This evening was complete with a joyous evening out with our host families. We ate at a gorgeous Lebanese restaurant in the heart of Beruit. There was not one food I was familiar with, and it took boldness to try so many new dishes. I am thankful that the food here in Lebanon is both fresh, and delicious.

Boldness. Bravery. Courage. These terms often feel more appropriate in a Marvel movie about superheroes than it does in our everyday life. We all want to be brave. We want to come to the rescue and save the day! I was made to realize today that courage is more in the little things than it is in the movies. Life demands us to be courageous - to stand up to the bully, to try something new, to love the person who hurts you, to say something to a loved one that they don't want to hear, to stand up in front of others, to share about Jesus to another, to step foot on the plane and "Go!". God tells us, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

My trip started off with great fear and anxiety. I am ending my trip with the personal experience and a better understanding of courage.

As today was our last full day with the boys. Many of the boys came to the same realization today as they begged and pleaded for us to stay longer. We all shared a few moments in denial that they time has finally come to soon let. To me, that is verification that they feel loved. And that is confirmation of our team's success, and of the unfailing, faithful promise of God.

Go, and be strong and courageous.


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