There has been a lot of words I’ve had to learn while I’ve been here. Stuff like Como você esta? or Como se chama? or Onde você mora? There are a lot of these things that I’m learning everyday but there are a few others words that I haven’t only realized I have in my memory but that I need to learn to put in my heart. These are words like LOVE, PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE, CONTENTMENT, and JOY. With these words, I’ve had to learn how to act them out and apply them in real life, everyday. Trust me, it is by far not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. In fact, it may be the hardest.
I can sit here and write about my week and all the amazing things we are able to do and see but for right now I guess I’m doing more of a heart evaluation. Every single day I see the same 10 people, some leaders, some my teammates. Everyday we are faced with moments where our love for each other is challenged. Our patience with each other is challenged. We want to quit and maybe some talk will stir up about someone going home. We want to complain about our circumstances and as a result we are at risk of losing our joy. These are problems we are faced with everyday and I don’t see them going away anytime soon, but I can say that I have learned so much more than I imagined I would. God has challenged me and and my team, the devil had tried to bring us down, but we are encouraged because God has won the war. We are just fighting the battles. I’ve been extremely proud of everyone on my team and how we have handled these challenges so far. I’ve seen exponential growth from every single person and that shows maturity. I’ve seen people become vulnerable and extremely willing to open up. These are the things that are making us closer. Everyday I see the devil attack and almost every day I see God use those attacks for good. It blows my mind.
Okay so now I will give a quick summary of my week.
So, Tuesday we had Pepe and it was pretty good. I guess it was more of just another day at Pepe. We had our basketball ministry Bible study that night. It was something I was looking forward to. Abigail wasn’t feeling well all day but I was really proud of her because she decided to persevere and go to the Bible study, although I knew she was regretting it.
Wednesday was definitely a more rough day for me. I had a pretty bad morning at Pepe. The kids were being extra loud and what seemed just more disrespectful. I was pretty much completely exhausted at that point. I took a nap right after Pepe and right after lunch. After language class we had a meeting at the church about our plan for Sunday school. After we got all of that figured out we went home and had ATGCC (American Team Group Cult Church). That was a pretty good time although I think there are things we need to continue improving on in that aspect.
Thursday was a really up and down day for me. This was the worst day of Pepe so far and I just wanted to tell Derek and Lauren I didn’t want to do that ministry anymore but I’m confident that next week will be better. Today was the day we started our discipleship groups. My first group is with Hadassah, Michelle, and Matthias. We are discipling a guy named Samuel. He’s an amazing dude. So we get to his house and none of us were sure if were supposed to teach because another group had theirs and said that one of the Cape Verdeans they were with taught. So were are all sitting around Samuels dinner table and our translator Loia says “So, who’s teaching?” I hadn’t really prepared well because I didn’t expect to teach. Hadassah had already been to a discipleship group and had a ton of notes and stuff and when Loia asked that no one said anything for awhile and then Hadassah looked over at me and I made eye contact and she said “Isaac will!” Im glad she did though because I really actually enjoyed teaching even though I was really nervous after she volunteered me. It was God just growing me through Hadassah.
Friday was another Discipleship day except this time it was with Pastor Emmanuel and Matthias. Our disciples name is Lery. She is extremely sweet! It was a different dynamic Friday though because Pastor taught and Matthias and I just shared some encouraging words after and Matthias shared his story. Something amazing happened though! So there was another man there with Lery and HE GOT SAVED! His name is Wilson. It was sooooo amazing! That is the first time I’ve seen someone come to Christ here so that was definitely a high of my time here!
Saturday was just amazing. Woke up at nice and early at 6 a.m. Then Derek, Matthias and I played basketball at 8. It was a lot of fun, but I didn’t play well. Im still trying to dust off my weak ankles! Around 11 we started our journey to Tarrafal, a beautiful, white sand beach about 2 hours away. It may be the most beautiful beach I’ve been to. The water was perfectly clear, there was barely anyone on the beach and the sand wasn’t black and it didn’t stick to everything it touched. Overall Saturday was definitely a 10/10 day. Also the Gamecocks beat Tennessee…. I mean barely, but they won!
To finish off the week we have Sunday. Sunday morning I read in Acts 2 and it talks a lot about community. It made me realize how important community is. We arrived at church and wow it felt like God was just yelling at me saying this is your community. I mean we literally started Church by everyone walking around hugging each other and It just kept on like that the whole service. Later that afternoon we went to the interior to basically do more discipleship. Get this, Samuel, the guy I am discipling came with us to go disciple others in the interior! There was about 20 people there and we split up into groups of about 3 or 4 and Samuel and I were in the same group. It was really cool! We were discipling a guy named Bamba. After we finished, his wife made us Coz-Coz cake with fresh milk. When I say fresh milk, I mean FRESH. Although the first bowl I had tasted rotten so I was pretty concerned and then he walked over to his cows and got some more milk came back over and poured us more in our bowls. It was definitely a unique experience!
Prayer requests: Discipling continues going well with Samuel, Lery, and Bamba. That we can continue to encourage Wilson in his new faith. For our team to have love, patience, perseverance, contentment, and joy.