10 April 2013

You know those moments when you are so far out of your comfort zone that you have to pull out the binoculars to find it?

That was totally how I felt today as I found myself sitting in the "special invités" room full of president's and government ministers relating to education, youth and the volleyball federation. The lone female, the lone American... Shake their hands when they walk up to you Beki! But don't make eye contact.. hold your arm with your other hand to be respectful... wait should I stand up? Oh no, what time is it - do I say good day or good evening? Use French girl! Haha :) How does this happen? Well let me try to explain...

I was chilling in my room eating lunch at 2p when I received a text from one of the girls on my volleyball team saying that I had to be at the sports academie building at 4p for a big ceremony instead of practice today. Hmm what? She said the sports federation had invited our team to be the special invités for a new volleyball program they were launching in the local schools. So I made sure that she was going to for sure be there, and agreed to meet her there.

Chilling in the empty room waiting :)
If only I could force myself to be late. I mean - I'm getting better ;) I usually show up 30 minutes late to practice, but nonetheless I am still always the first one there. So since they said 4 - I tried to show up at 415, thinking that since it's an important event I should get there only a little late... They send me into the special waiting room and show me the chair I am supposed to sit in... Ahem... 

As time passed, the room filled up with these important men and the scene in the first paragraph flashed through my mind many times :) Around 5 my friend S showed up and rescued me :) It was interesting ceremony to say the least, but I am glad to have been there. Everyone gave their speeches and all the cute little kids marched around in their school groupings. Too cute :) Apparently I stand out more than I thought though, because even the president of the volleyball federation knew who I was - yikes!

I think what I am learning about comfort zones, is that they are necessary... but they need to be more of a designated zone... Like my bedroom is my zone. I need to be absolutely free to be me when I am at home, to worship loud, talk to myself, dance around a little :) However, when I leave I need to be prepared to be the hands and feet of Christ no matter what it takes. And it takes courage. More courage than I could ever muster up alone that's for sure! Courage to be so sure of who I am in Christ and of His truth - that I am willing to be in awkward, sometimes embarrassing situations in order to further spread His love. Days like today are not about telling the Gospel story, or handing someone a tract. They are about being consistent. Building relationships. Showing support for the local system and the work they are doing. Becoming better friends with the girls on my team. In order that through my actions, they will see His love, and that through time, I will be able to share Truth. Wow, only by His grace right?
As our team walked around and greeted some of these ministers and talked with coaches etc, my friend S grabbed my hand and we walked around hand in hand. The consistency is paying off. The hundreds of pushups, sprints, and random drills, all under the hot Sahara sun, has brought some very unlikely people together. The girls always tease my warm-up partner that I never get tired, so they better watch out cause I'll make them actually count correctly and do every exercise! Haha - I pray that being consistent as time goes on, they will begin to see why I work hard, it is for the Lord. Not for them, not for a coach, but that I do my best to bring glory to Jesus.  I am part of them and the differences of culture, color, life, have been erased. We laugh together, we talk about family, boys, friendship, and food! :) Today was again a new step in the right direction.

Thank you for praying! The Lord is working and I cannot be more thankful to be finding true friendship evolving from this team!

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