Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week 13

I have been teaching on Sexually Transmitted Disease for grade 6 and 7 Natural Science over the last two and a half weeks. I took advantage of the topic to address God's design for marriage to shed God's light on the subject and to give hope to an upcoming generation of a total transformation of the way the culture veiws sex. Tomorrow we have our second of an 8 week session with young adults ages 15 and 16. Some are kids from TKCA, but most are at Kolin Foundation (the Arandis High School). One of them is Zandria whom you can see fellowshipping with others on the rocks, behind our home, after cool drink and icecream from Ms Lea. We are to discuss adulthood, maturity and discerning the right choices for their own lives. I'm certainly privileged to have both of these opportunities all at once.

The enemy is also trying to tear me down by bringing up my mistakes; people I've hurt and who've hurt me within relationships. Sometimes it's too much to bear and I get discouraged. I read in God's word that "to wait upon him" in it's original form means that you stand in the midst of trials and challenges and say, "God I will trust you to bring me strength! I will keep standing!" Classroom management as well as teaching is often a struggle and constant reminder of my desire to invest in my own further training. I have hope that (even though this is not one of my natural gifts) God will and does give me what I need to fulfill my task here. I have renewed strength day by day, I can put extra effort in and learn what it takes to finish the race He's put before me.

I know my Father is preparing me for the gift of marriage. I see a wife's role as a support, holding up not only her husband but her children and those around her. She must be well-gifted in many things, whatever it is that those around her need. In other words she must be VERY dependent on the Holy Spirit, her comforter, her advocate, her counselor, her strength. (John 14) Like Paul, she must be "all things to all people" that she might in some ways save some. (1 Corinthians 9).

It's certainly eye-opening to be enlightened of the enormous barriers in this culture around marriage and safe sex. The kids informed me of family traditions – an uncle having sex with his young niece before she's married, or a young couple being charged enormous amounts for marriage, making it impossible. One of my girls said she only knows one married couple doing well and enjoying it. Yikes! I would not want to be a teen here. Men of God, wherever you are, be encouraged, keep holy, and be a great example to the boys around you. You are REALLY valuable and incredibly useful in this world. Thanks:)

These are some of the girls (Monica, Elizabeth and Claudia) who lead worship this week and last week. It's a little more practice and organization on my part; but as the women and children in Nehemiah 12, I am rejoicing for God makes me rejoice with great joy. The joy of Jericho was heard afar off!!! When talking to one young man after school Tuesday afternoon, he said; were you guys worshiping this morning? I heard Lord I lift your name on High and Everlasting God from my house. That was certainly from "afar." I'm blessed every time the children make an extra effort and show a desire to worship our maker. 

Pray to God our Master for confidence and ultimate leadership for the kids and purity in their own lifestyles as they gain experience.

Pray to the Rock of Ages for my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Pray to God our Advocate for healing Rejoice and baby Mikayla.

Pray for an abundance of blessing for LWCC and the mission night's success in October.

Taste and see the goodness of Jehovah Jireh who has opened the door again for Riaan to return to chef school. Pray for dedication and encouragement for him.

Praise the sovereign over all creation for rain that he's pouring on Namibia now and for people stay well in the cold.

Praise the Mighty Rock for provisions in keeping the school open next year; pray for continued provision and support from teachers/staff/parents. 

I praise the name of the Most High for using you tremendously to connect to and support Arandis during this time. May He deal bountifully with you, His servant that you may live and keep His word. Psalm 119:17

Monday, September 2, 2013

My God is BIG BIG BIG (Week 11)

My god is BIG BIG BIG, My god is so so BIG. He's bigger than your problems, oh YEESS he can solve 'Em. My god is BIG BIG BIG, oh yes he iiisss. My God is big, big, big....
Imagine these words in a blues tone being sung by some teens with beautifully trained voices. Auntie Fabiola works weekly to train these young girls and they learn a wide assortment of music, but what they may not know is that their song reaches the heavens and ministers to His people here who are stuck so very low in their issues.

I am amazed more and more each day at the Truth of God's word and how much he blesses those who diligently seek him! (Psalm 119) I'm impressed with how much character is in fact built through various trials (James 1) and how you are blessed when you can endure ridicule and judgmental people (Matthew 5). I am astounded by our God of justice and compassion each time He fights on the behalf of one of his precious children here in Arandis. I know it sounds general but there are specific incidents daily of which I'm made aware of His goodness over and over. When we pray, He really does listen – when we call, He really does answer and that is wonderful!

Ismael – whom I was taking care of this holiday thanked me on the last evening for praying that he'll draw closer to the Lord because it was working. I was about to question him about this prayer when he said, "I know you've been praying, God keeps calling to me to come closer. What should I do when I feel him speaking to me to come closer?" Open His word my dear boy and listen to all the words He's already spoken. I love to have one on one time with the kids and He provided several opportunities for Ismael to spend time with men. It makes perfect sense for him not to be comfortable with men as he's always around woman and children. He made this very clear when I proposed him with the idea God gave me and told him about these men that wanted to spend time with him. After each interaction, either with Brother Cyprian, Brother Richard from the Church in Arandis, or on Skype with a Brother back home; he came back refreshed and so very grateful for the opportunity. One day we (well, I) lost his dog. We spent the afternoon looking for him. Ismael didn't think we'd find him, so why look because he's a cute little dog that was most likely stolen. I said, well we have to do our part and then trust God to do His. Ismael then interrupted with, "seek and you will find!" I agreed. We searched every street in Arandis. We didn't find him, he was gone, there is no way that tiny dog could have lasted even overnight. We had to leave town the next day on the bus for our visit to Rehoboth to see Smithley, his brother. The next day I called the family coordinator about the Auntie who had also been beyond our reach and she informed me that because we had been looking, asking around about the dog, someone "found" him and brought him back! I called Ismael at the Auntie and Uncle's house in Rehoboth to inform him of the news. He said, "Ms Anna, that's great news, right? Our God is alive!" The Auntie and Uncle there have such a big heart for these kids and they really loved Ismael, Auntie was crying as she handed him his container full of fat cakes (small soft roles fried and glazed with sugar) and we were driving away with Ismael. Coming home, Ismael asked if he could move in with them and go to school in Rehoboth next year. Lord, your will be done!

God has blessed me with 12 more weeks here. I have the privilege of working with several who are being raised up in worship. I look forward to meeting with them more regularly. There was a day during the holiday where I just asked them to close their eyes and sing a very familiar song for worship; but to not look around and mean every word coming from their mouth. I am telling you - within five minutes, there were deeper levels of worship they had never experienced. I could see the teenage insecurities just disappearing and their praise going right up to the Father. It's so simple, "I lift up my hands, standing unashamed, I worship you Father, exalting your name. You've captured my heart, now my life has changed..." but it's not something that can be set up, only my God can do that! I could have stayed in that room forever.

Please pray for self-control and discipline to be faithful to drawing near to Him daily so the devil does not have any place in their lives. Unity among the body of Christ here – both in the Church and Children of Promise. All people working together will love each other and move beyond offenses to further His kingdom. Health for Ms Nan and Elizabeth. A FATHER and MOTHER within a loving home for Ismael, Brendan and Annalisa. Guidance for Auntie S and all her children looking ahead to the future. A principle and more volunteer teachers for TKCA next year. Thank God for his tremendous support and for those he's put in our lives to pray for us and get us through difficult times.

Growing up, I was surrounded by Godly people showing me who God is and instructing me on worship; it's sad to think these kids have not had this privilege. It's the very purpose for my existence, for the rest of my days, I will love God and direct people to Him. Wherever I am, in whatever form it takes, as I have been guided, I will help to train and mentor others into living a life of worship.


I want to leave you with this precious thought: Give Thanks to God! He always leads us in the winners' parade because we belong to Christ. Through us, God spreads the knowledge of Christ everywhere like perfume. God considers us to be the sweet smell that Christ is spreading among people who are being saved and people who are dying. (2 Corinthians 2:14-16) You are children that God dearly loves. So be just like him. Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave himself up for us. he was a sweet smelling offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week 8

Time really flies here. So many amazing things have been happening since our last communication. The teams went home and several volunteer teachers have come and blessed us and gone at this point. Things are settling down in Arandis - but never in God's house!

The Lord blessed us this week by giving His word to us every morning in an extended Bible class with grade 5-7. They are so hungry for righteousness - and God has totally given the exact message to share each morning. I'm a "plan ahead" person and I enjoy being prepared in advance. He'd give the message that night or morning of. We even had a Bible study after school Thursday with some older kids, teachers and adults who joined us. One of the kids that didn't even want to come because he wasn't sure there would be other boys there said to me the next day, "Ms Anna, that was my best Bible study! I love Bible study, I'm definitely going next week!" The cool thing is, we are literally doing just that. I'm not teaching at all, just showing them, the way I've been guided over the years. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Palm 119) On Friday we were going through Psalm 119, pulling out advice about meditating on God's word. The students did the study as they each stood up and shared one different but very meaningful passage. I could have sat there all day and listened to them. Sometimes I wonder if they even know the full impact of the things they are saying to the Lord. These kids know how to worship, they know scripture - Lord, may you open their eyes that they may see you.

Saturday (17 August) was a fun day! The Shofar Christian Church in Swakopmund came and taught them useful information on Horticulture and then brought the things to build vegetable, fruit tree and flower gardens in tires, compost and recycled items for an irrigation system at the school and all three homes. There will be beautiful pictures to follow after they are painted. I believe the kids will take care of these plants and they will produce fruit. Very practical, very fun and very manageable in our "desert" community. The leadership was also blessed by the Lord through this day!

I've had a few interactions with unhealthy teeth over the past few weeks and God has extended so much grace and healing right in front of my very eyes. We should remember to pray the impossible - as long as it lines up with His word - because He is only one that can do it. God is the most absolute judge and He cares for his children more than any person can, so let our response for our concerns be - pleading to the Father for the health of His children. Every prayer prayed in faith will be answered, what a faithful God!

The next two weeks I'm moving over to one of the families homes and my focus will be on one boy whom I feel very privileged to know and love. May God increase his love and desire for himself and give us grace for this time. May He open up opportunities for Him to see the love of a father which he has never had.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Week Two: 7 July 2013

Over the weekend, we drove into the moonscape (right) which is what can be compared to a beautiful, inverted, smaller-scale, Grand Canyon and then we visited the sand dunes so some of the new volunteers could see some of Namibia's natural beauty, nearby.

Wednesday's all day Youth Conference went really well. We had four main teachings by some amazing Servants of the Lord. 1) God's passionate, unending love and acceptance as we are His princes and princess' 2) Run towards God and receive courage to fight the giant in your life (David and Joshua) 3) Practically being a special part of his exciting adventure 4) Faith Walk – ask God to speak to you and listen to Him. There were worship times and activities intermingled into the day, but it was almost 5 hours of Bible Teaching which was more than they have ever had all at once and all the kids were engaged the whole time.

Thursday was a blessed evening which brought a lot of encouragement to several leaders. I believe God is bringing people together who do not normally meet together. 
Over the weekend a good friend of the ministry celebrated his 70th birthday by blessing all of our kids with camel rides so we took a drive to the camel farm just outside of Swakopmund. We are waiting for the weather to warm up here in Arandis, because I forgot my winter coat.



Prayer for:
  • Children playing the guitar and leading worship to have more knowledge of His presence and character and love Him as they sing to Him.
  • Guarding our hearts because it's the wellspring of life.
  • Provision and father's for our children.
  • Wisdom for the ministry in the months ahead.
  • Health and unity for all the directors.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More love for a loving, caring creator and Lord. (April 2013)

It's always a beautiful day in the Lord's presence. I heard some very disturbing news today that I was letting steal my joy. One of the Lord's precious ones is going to be sent back to his home where he was removed from so long ago because it was a vulnerable and terribly unsafe environment for him - one in which he would most likely end up diseased or dead....BUT GOD!  We spent a lot of time praying for this young boy - motivating many people from NH to pray and there have been some positive breakthrough in this boys life. Praise Him! Praise Him and lift Him up. Exalt His name forever.

A few more weeks in the USA!

The flight home was amazingly comfortable and quick. I was thrown into wedding preparations the minute I returned home and the Gdanian family sailed smoothly through a beautiful wedding day of celebration on 20 April 2013. Chelsea and Josiah Gdanian are now a newly formed family and God will do amazing things through their hearts that are devoted to serving Him.

After the wedding I took a deep breath and was able to connect with friends from my church family at Chestnut Hill Chapel and Light of the World Christian Church. In sharing pictures and telling stories about the first term of the 2013 school year and what God has done in the families and all the lives of the children of COPM and Talitha Kumi Christian - despite my changing teaching posistion and hectic schedule - I was energized, excited and motivated for a few more months of service in the great nation of Namibia.

I enjoyed my stay at home and was ready to return last week but by God's perfect plan I was delayed and now have a few more weeks at home with my family. I was graciously offered a few hours at Curves of Amherst - a place of previous employment as a Fitness Trainer and some generous friends and family contributed to help me raise money to take the kids on some community service trips when I return. I've been blessed beyond belief by many...Thanks to Jeff, two Diane's, Mom and Dad Gdanian, Emily, Faye, Josiah, Lorraine and Alden, Laurie and many others who are faithfully contributing to my life and needs in Arandis. Our children are on the receiving end of a lot of blessings and it would be neat for them to do something to serve the people who help them.

One of my goals in serving in Namibia was - yes to help out - but most importantly to connect other people and resources to meet the needs of these people in Namibia and to let God do a work in me to "Make Me His Servant" to make me "Humble and Meek." and my prayer is always "That Lord I may lift up those who are weak." A huge answer to prayer this year is that a friend of mine Kayla who is an experienced, talented, creative teacher and woman of God will be heading over to arrive before me in June and teach for one month for her first time in Namibia. There's also team of all young Men from YWAM Youth with a Mission, Pittsburgh - the school I attended in 2005 heading over there in a few weeks for just over two months. I'm so excited for these connections and for our young boys to have Godly examples to follow.

Monday, February 18, 2013

New!!! Pictures in Album from December Holiday. If you have a problem viewing them, please email me: anna.gdanian@gmail.com

What a blessing it was today to walk to and from church (in 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity) and come across at least three different father's walking with or holding their daughters. It's not that common here, so it was very noticeable. Father/daughter relationships are very powerful. As we know father's are very influential weather negatively or positively. There are countless times every day during my time here where things my father has taught, spoken, shown me have come up in conversations, lessons, thoughts mini sermons during worship, prayer, or just my own thoughts. My prayer is for every child, and young adult to be just as blessed as I am to have an amazing father who daily sacrifices everything he can for the benefit of his family. Not only at present but throughout the (um...27 years of my life :)

In January, the Lord sent an amazingly talented, Christian Counselor who is serving with us for a couple of months from Johannesburg, to minister specifically to our children and mommies. The bible says there are those who plant and those who water and those who yield the Harvest. Well so many people, tears and so much time and energy have all been poured into the children and mommies in Children of Promise Ministries, Namibia. The Lord is blessing each conversation she has with His presence and is producing a lot of fruit through the time, experiences and words she is giving them. Pray for continued fruit!

Mr B is coaching/disciplining the soccer team and doing an excellent job chasing our kids around the field until we learn to play by the rules and respect the sport! My roles at TKCA have changed in the past couple of weeks. Praise the Lord, they found an excellent, Namibian, grade 3 teacher (though I really miss them) and I am now doing individual training for the children with special needs along with teaching 2 upper primary classes. The challenge now is fitting everyone from the different grades into my day and coordinating with classroom teachers so that I am reinforcing the classroom work as well as meeting their individual needs. God's grace and mercy and patience has been extended to me and others during this time, but only through your prayers for peace and flexibility. Thank you!

Guitar classes are every Wednesday and they come for supervised practice on two seperate days. Please pray for ideas and guidance as far as keeping the children interested and helping them to see they can do it and become successful with practice. Commitment is very important - weather it's to school work, a hobby, family, church, anything however it's very difficult to teach them. Pray that the Lord will build the confidence in themselves. There is so much desire, but only two come on a regular basis. 
 
Speaking of church ministry, I am so privileged that the Lord has been using me daily at Eagle Christian Center, Arandis. I have seen the desperation for our heavenly father in this place and it's amazing during a Sunday service to see people so intent on loving Jesus and drawing closer to Him through the songs they sing. He gives me words to teach, motivate and encourage - nothing I "plan" to say can ever come close to the clarity and power of His message. I know the peace and success in their life is coming as they invest in God's word. Pray for the young people as members of the worship, youth group and choir to listen to the Lord and be open to commitment to Him. I know they will be blessed if they reach beyond themselves to a loving, Father.

Birthdays are a tremendous blessing in Arandis! We celebrated Cyprian and his wife Rejoice (an elder at Eagle Christian Center) on a beautiful afternoon of some more of Ms Nan, Hospitality. Christmas Eve (attached) was another example when we had more than 30 people at the house to eat! Her gift is so evident and it's great to see. Pray that the Lord will bless her even more as she consistently gives generously. While on the topic, I am humbled and amazed daily at God's provision for my life and the Lord is using her to willingly provide for my living here. If and when I hear about birthday's I try to give words of encouragement and some chocolate to each child, but since it's been more than a year - they are all coming back for round two, YIKES!

There are 7 weeks to wrap up before I will be reunited with my family on the other side of the coast, to return and finish out the year. No matter how strong you are, 10 months is a long time to be away from family :) Pray that these last few weeks, I will give all that I can to help establish leaders here in Arandis.

As you open you're eyes, may you see God and experience that peace that, Lord knows, we all need.