Candlelight. I love candlelight even if the candles are only lit because the power is out again. There is something calming, reflective when sitting in the soft glow.
As a candle lights the darkness, God calls us to be light in the darkness. I pray I am being that light here. I pray I am an encouragement and support to my students, a person they can confide in, that they know they are loved first by God and also by me. Nothing they could ever do will change that. One student commented to another, “When you walk into Miss Laarman’s classroom, how can you have a bad day? Her calm smile, even when we are being crazy, makes everything ok.”
Today, I as sat in this quiet peace, looked back at all my blog posts from 18 months ago when I sent my first support letter til now and I am thankful, not just thankful… what is stronger than thankful? Perhaps humbled with awe and gratitude for God’s provision through all of you financially, prayerfully, sending encouraging notes, commenting on Facebook, etc.
So why did I look back today? Today is Giving Tuesday. The day of supporting non-profit organizations after the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For missionaries, asking for support and trusting God’s provision can be the hardest part of the missionary call. So I looked back to see how far I have come in 18 months. I am thankful I am supported year round, not just on a designated day. Many times, you aren’t even aware of how God has used you to bless me and others as you cross their paths. You might actually never cross paths with those you have blessed. For example, your support of me blesses the 60 students I teach, my 30 alumni, my 30 co-workers, my church family, the families of all these people, and the many people I come in to contact with day to day.
Thank you beyond words for allowing me this opportunity to be a candle in the classrooms of HOPAC and in the city of Dar es Salaam.
In this season of gratitude, I want to share a few other things I am thankful for:
1. My 10 girls in my discipleship group who truly desire to learn what it means to be a Christian in their hearts and lives, not just giving the right answers.
2. My home where I can regularly invite students and alumni over. A safe place where they are free to be themselves and all their craziness.
3. A wonderful inclusive, loving, supportive expatriate community that takes care of each other and can have lots of fun together too.
4. Technology- for so many reasons. Not only for communication with friends and family around the world but with my students and community here in Dar.
5. God’s Tribe- my church home here in Dar where I work with the youth, participate in a small group and will soon be starting a young adults group.
6. A season of Thankfulness- As much as we try to be thankful, a time of year set aside for being thankful is annual reminder of all we have to be thankful for.
So today on Giving Tuesday, as you consider all the amazing ministries around the world, I ask you to consider supporting the work God is doing through me at HOPAC. www.teachbeyond.org/donate and include account#40270. To see a list of my current needs, please visit my Join the Team page.