Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bedtime stories with Tori! After dinner we had some family football!!

Jonathan has made his own car and he is going places!

Going to school!

Last week was a difficult week. I became very sick with a throat infection and it completely wiped me out. It also seemed to be the week that everyone in our family started verbalizing how much they miss Benin. We do deeply miss our friends there. In the same breath I have to say we are SO where we want to be right now....adjusting just takes time. And it is hard to give myself time.

This past Tuesday I was given the great privilege of speaking to the Preston Crest Church of Christ's Ladies Bible Class. It was such a privilege and blessing for me. I was asked to speak about our life in Africa and about how our faith sustained us through the years....I knew immediately that this was something I would be so thrilled to do! This is most definitely always an opportunity to show off MY GOD! I was so blessed in the preparation as I recalled the countless ways that he demonstrated his presence to us in ways that forever changed us!

The verse that I believe could be the theme for our entire time in Benin is Genesis 15:1

Do not be afraid,

I am your shield.

I am your very great reward.

Just 2 years after being in Benin, we had experienced trauma, confusion, disillusionment, and we were struggling with depression. And we were alone. We were acutely aware that we were very fragile and that we could not continue to live there in our own strength. We had been too casual in our approach to how we would live. We realized that we were going to have to be intentional, making deliberate choices to be in the Word, setting aside time for worship, and choosing to believe God to be who he says He is, even when we could not understand Him at the time. As we spent time in consistent study of His Word and spent time in Worship, we were reminded of who God is and that He CAN be fully trusted with the details of our lives.

Over the years we came to LOVE our life in Benin and find great joy in living there. Our minds became trained to look for God in a hard place where the difficulties seem to never stop.

There were always a million reasons to go home. Even so, God poured himself into our broken lives and filled us up with HIS perseverance and His strength. We could never look back on those times and think we are really tough or super strong. Randy and I both know we were weak and the fruit that has come from our time in Benin was from God and not from us.

(2 Corinthians 4:7-9)

Knowing Him and enjoying his full attention became our great reward. That is his promise,

that HE IS (presently) the great reward.

God is so good. I could never say enough about Him. I love Him completely and believe that there is nothing better that we can do with our lives than to be loving him and serving him.


Greg Bailey said...

Blessings to you all as you continue your adjustment. May you continue to put your trust in God in a land where we are often tempted to trust in other things. We love you all,

Kendra said...

I love these two sweet posts . . .Walmart shopping and "life" around the Vaughn house! Cute. That's why I REALLY like grocery shopping by myself at Walmart first thing in the morning on Saturday or Sunday before most of Bedford has woken up! he! Can fit more in the cart, and can actually follow my list instead of entertain my kids!! ha! You are a brave mama!!!