Sometimes I forget where I am when I first wake up in the morning. I do a quick look around the room until I see something familiar, and then I realize that I'm in my own bed. This only increases when I don't get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep, something I haven't had for the past two weeks. That brief startling moment when nothing makes sense, intermingled with that eery feeling that there is most likely drool on my face, has been plaguing my awakenings for the past two weeks.
Christmas came and brought with it the "holidays" (British speak for vacation). Since then, I have spent many of my waking hours, and a rather large chunk of what should have been my sleeping hours, hanging out with kids into the wee hours of the morning. We've played Risk, we've watched movies, we went swimming, we've played basketball, we've played Monopoly, we went rock climbing, we've played Mario Party, we went bowling, we've played Super Smash Brothers, we've played Mini-Golf, we've played Football (British speak for Soccer), we even played a little Texas Hold 'Em (Texas speak for Poker). We've run out of things to do. Thankfully School started back up this morning.
I'm hoping that with School came a Regular Sleeping Schedule.
Besides the lack of sleep, this past "holiday" has been most excellent. For the first time in as long as I've known, I understood the True meaning of Christmas. Cheesy, I know, but it's true. I never could get past the songs, materialism, and commercialization, which frustrate me to no end, until I moved to a Third World Country (where kids are actually happy to get socks as a gift). Seeing all the brokenness made me long for a Savior. Thank God he come and is on his way back.
Seeing Christmas in a new light really rejuvenated my heart for my ministry here. And it's a good thing it did, because I've spent everyday since then with kids and I'm pretty sure the only way I've gotten through them is due to the Lord. (Sometimes we wouldn't start playing Risk until 10:30pm, which means, for all you non-Risk players, that the game wouldn't end until at least 2:30am with the possibility of lasting until 4:00am.)
New Year's day brought with it more of the same with a few additions. I started writing and illustrating an adventure story. More kids joined the madness of "hangout with Bryce time." I even had one kid, who shall be renamed Gerald, open up and tell me about his mother and his fears that she died a non-Christian. He sat with me and cried his anger away as he continued to talk about his brother and sister, who are both in the midst of troubles of their own. I didn't have a clue what to tell him, but I'm pretty sure God sent his Spirit to guide my words. I started talking and Jesus took over. It was pretty sweet. I love being here.
The Lord has already begun a great work this year. I pray that he keeps me strong while I finish up my ministry. I'm wrapping up my time here in August, and I already am dreading leaving. Please pray that I'll be given the strength to live completely for God's will these next few months. It's dawning on me that my time is limited with these kids, and I want to give them the best representation of Christ's love that I can.
Another prayer request would be that I could get the financial support that I need to stay through August. I'm getting 50% of my monthly support covered, for which I am incredibly blessed, but I still need roughly $800 a month to cover the cost of living here. Please pray for more support, and, if you feel like you can give, follow this link BlueSky Global to give either a one time donation or monthly support.
Thank you for what you've already done through prayer and support to help me in my ministry here. It's such a blessing to know I have people back home encouraging me. I'm really looking forward to seeing as many of you as I can, when I get back for a visit in February!