toward the ledge:

changing the world thru loving and serving others. without agenda

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leap of faith=learning to trust, living in the moment, giving up control.

703724_10200089329698919_1476002362_ook God. i am Yours. you have sent me.   
to my next door neighbor and now to the corners of the earth.
may i love as you love, and listen to every whisper of your spirit.
because i know the voice of the One who has called me to… GO…
now calls me to be to STAY, LISTEN and CONTINUE THE WORK.

one year and a month or so after returning to tanzania – i know and YOU know that i’m on the edge, at the ledge again.  leaping into another bit of unknown.  an update – at this point, i have located, rented and moved into a new home on my own – leaving the ‘known’ and comfort of the NGO/hostel that has been home.  adjusting (again) to live alone, cooking, and life without the structure of the organization. figuring out what i need in this new home, making new connections, researching ideas, pondering,  wrapping up final transitions with foot2afrika.  well certainly,my f2a family – the people, former volunteers, staff, the projects – they will always be family to me.  however the official part of my work there has come to an end and now….what is next?

BE COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNKNOWN….i don’t really know exactly what is next.  just that i am to be doing something different.  i have a few nudgings or ideas, but am waiting for the ‘reveal’.  AND honestly THAT IS REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE.  are you with me?  we are inclined to need to know what’s next, to have goals, to be prepared.  but here i am. in tanzania, in moshi specifically, because i was sent.  i am walking through doors that open.  i am waiting for words to be said.  all i know at this point….is that i am where i am supposed to be.  and that i will know….when the time is right for me to know…what i am to do next.  for now.  i am (trying to be) content to be in the moment.  to be excited about the fact that i don’t know what’s next instead of being frustrated about not knowing.

BE STILL AND KNOW….in the meantime.  i have this distinct feeling that this is by design.  that i am being led moment by moment.   to be quiet.  to be still again.  and realize that i will know when the time is right.  what i have been feeling – is the need to be more hands on and connected to people in villages, to be part of sustainable development so that individuals and families can dream, hope and provide for themselves.   i feel strongly that writing – stories or ? – may be part of this next chapter (no pun intended).  i feel tingles/buzzes about working with people with HIV (women in particular) but on the other hand, the individuals that are placed in my path recently are young men trying to support their families – smart, hard working men that have dreams but no opportunities.  i think – what is the reason for these stories coming my way?  in fact –  i woke up recently with the STRONG awareness that i should tell the story of one of these smart young guys trying to feed his wife and 3 young daughters –  to help raise awareness of his situation, and perhaps find a way to help him through the story  – but due to many other interferences it hasn’t happened.  soon, i hope.  many of you have been encouraging me to write.  i’m open.  but i am still not certain just what to write and how.  is this a start?  hmmmm.  we will know soon won’t we?

TRUST, YOU ARE BEING CARED FOR….another part of this journey is about the faith of trusting.   certainly i have spent (too much) time ‘worrying’ this past year about finances.  most of you know…i raised some funds, sold my stuff etc before coming here a year ago.   always in the back of my mind…..was this blah blah blah in my head about “HOW AM I GONNA MAKE IT?” and always there would be a little voice that would say….“don’t worry, you will be taken care of.  we are working things out for you”.   that would calm my mind.  for a while. and then i would be back at the worry game.   and in fact, during the house finding process  as i reviewed my finances, i realized that to pay the 6 months rent in advance (which is standard requirement) i would have nothing left to live on.  i had just sent out a fund raising email and had some response but at this point of the process, the funds were not yet arriving.  a  moment of panic was setting in  – WHAT DID I THINK I WAS DOING?  HOW WAS I GOING TO LIVE HERE?  i was kinda freaking out, having a melt down moment.  and trust me,  renting a house here is not extravagant (around $150/month furnished in this case, an amount that several of my tanzanian friends pay, which is a LOT to their standards but to ours….not much).   i had to swallow some pride, email my BF and my dad, and specifically ask for help RIGHT THEN.  out of my comfort zone totally.  i was crying the whole time i had to do it, it’s humbling truly to find yourself so reliant upon others, the grace of God and everything outside yourself.   it was a bit of a watershed moment (again no pun intended) as i had to recognize and release any sense of control that i apparently thought i had.  as well as some pride.  and yes. it occurred to me that perhaps i must need to experience this as i am often being asked for help. even tho i am so aware that the points of spectrum are much different (my no-money is very different from their no-money), and sometimes i react (more internally than externally) in a way that i’m ashamed of.  so perhaps i have some lessons here to learn, of perspective, to soften my heart.  sometimes it feels like the mzungu is always expected to have money to give.  or that others may ‘use’ us to ‘get money.  but in actuality – perhaps their need simply places them in the vulnerable position to ask.  well,  i’m totally undone again, just thinking about it, so there must be something pinging me here….”better pay attention debora”.

YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL….oh my.  i have been reminded how much i am not in control and that God is very much in control. in my humanness, even though i knew better, i continued my angst about how i would make it financially – torn between giving up all control and how much effort i should make myself to raise money.  i made an organized fund raising effort, and several of those graciously and generously responded although i was far from the budgeted needs.   then –  the fact is that several people  (many of which i haven’t seen in many years)  began contacting me and offering to send funds to help without any request from me.   just as i was completing negotiations on the house,  one person sent me a full month’s salary (!!!!!!!! omg! this person just mentioned she believed in my spirit and heart and wanted to help, never mentioned an amount and i didn’t ask.  until it hit my account i had no idea!).  another individual sent a message that she and her husband came up with a certain monthly amount of support that was incredibly generous and unexpected- was it okay she asked?  i just sat there, honestly,  and cried.  over and over –  i have been humbled, reminded that i am cared for and indeed, where i am supposed to be.  reminded that i am not in control and frankly that it’s a good thing i’m not.  i’d just muck it up in all likelihood. yeah, am reminded that just maybe He does know what He’s doing 🙂

THE VOICES SAY?…and guess what?  here’s what the voice(s) say after these moments of grace and generosity… yeah, a kind of  a told you so! “well, we did tell you that we are taking care of you.  please trust. relax.”

well, the voices led me here (spoke to me of afrika, and confirmed each time i came to the right conclusions or made the right decisions).  they have continued to guide me and encourage me.  to me? they are my spirit and angel guides, the voice of God.   He communicates to me in a variety of ways –  through others,  through messages in my emails and even on facebook.  but for sure – there are times (thankfully) in which i ‘hear’ Him directly.

WORK IN PROGRESS… for sure. i have known from the beginning of my journey to tanzania that God had things for me to do here…but that there was also work to be done on me.  i am a continuing work in progress.  it is my desire that i make a difference in the lives of people, in this community.  and that i somehow inspire, motivate, encourage or otherwise raise others up in their own lives to know that they are loved, to know that they ARE love.  my mission is simple and without doctrine, rules or agendas:  love.   may i love as you love…

…..please bless my path and illumine my mind, i surrender to You the day ahead.
please bless every person and situation i will encounter.
make me who You would have me be, that i might do as You would have me do.
please enter my heart….renew my soul….and free my spirit…..
marianne williamson

am happy that you are in my life.  thanks for the encouragement, prayers, support and ‘atta girls’.  thanks for following my journey on facebook and this blog, and for letting me know when you receive something from my experience.

love you.