Wednesday, July 22, 2015

SEKA! (Smile!)

After my lovely "upchuck" post, I'm thrilled to have a bit of a more FUN piece of news to share.......

Today we published the new website for an exciting new venture here in Kibogora!  You may want to check it out, so I'll post it here, right where you can't miss it!   


Seka Handbags is a wonderful group of ladies who have learned how to sew this year, and who are making the most delightful bags and purses you have ever seen!  To learn more about Seka, how it started, all about the seamstresses and most importantly, how you can get your hands on one or more of these fabulous bags, be sure to visit our site.  And many thanks to my niece, Gena Ward, and to my daughter, Hannah Berg, for inventoring all our bags and creating the website for me!  

After looking at the website, if you are interested in helping to sell these purses, please let me know by emailing me at bergfamilyafrica@gmail.com, OR by commenting under this post.  

Below is an excerpt from an email I sent to our email list (if you want to join that, please email me as well!), describing more about this new facet of our ministry.  

Also, big news!  We relocate to Kenya in the next couple of weeks!  The email below will tell more about that as well.......


From the email......

~ ~ ~

Be a Missionary from Home!

Dear friends,

This is Linda, and I am writing to the WOMEN on our mailing list ~ so if you're a guy - unless you are a guy with a lot of creative flair, who happens to have a bunch of awesome girl friends - feel free to ignore this email from the Bergs.

We are not sure that we have explained this fully or clearly, but we Bergs are about to make a big move to Kenya.  Long story short - we are continuing our medical mission, but Tim will now be TRAINING the next generation of General Surgeons instead of working as one here in Rwanda - at least for a while.  I will also be working in Kenya.  I will teach Senior English this coming school year at Sam and Ruthie's school, Rift Valley Academy.  Tim's new workplace is only a 5 minute walk from their school, so we can live with our highschoolers again!  Deste will attend Kindergarten at Rift Valley Academy as well.  We move in under two weeks.  Yes, our heads are spinning with all the transitions!

Meanwhile, as excited as we are about this move, we are also heart-broken about leaving Rwanda.  One of the most heart-wrenching things about leaving (just after our sadness that as of yet, no surgeon is scheduled to take Tim's place at the hospital which will leave many Rwandans in need of surgical care without anyone to operate on them) is leaving my sewing co-op, Seka Handbags.

The ladies who make up this co-op have lived more painful lives than any of us in America can even comprehend.  Seriously.  These are the poorest of the poor - the uneducated, the orphan, the widow, those with zero options, no hope, no chances.

They have come from not knowing how to even thread a sewing machine to being able to produce truly beautiful handbags.  Truly Beautiful!

But, as with any new business, it will be a while before we are making a profit.  A big need I have is to find a market in America to sell these bags.

I sent an email before, and had responses.  However, as fast as life is going, I've lost track of who volunteered to help - so I'm wondering if you'd tell me again.  (And, please forgive my scatter-brained self!)

Also, I need help in two specific ways.  I need about 15 women (or more! But at least 15!) who would agree to be "Seka Sellers" - that is, who would agree to have a Purse Party, invite friends over, tell the Seka Story, and see if anyone wants to buy some beautiful purses or gym bags.  You won't have to pay for the purses ahead of time, and can send the money to us, along with any unsold bags, within 3 weeks of receiving them. (You'll mail to an American address.)   And you can have one purse for free for your efforts!

If you want to do this, please email me and send me your mailing address for where to mail your bags!  You will receive them in about 2 - 3 weeks!

Very soon, we will have a website up for you to read all about it.  Thanks in advance.  I am praying that at least 15 wonderful women will agree to be a "Missionary from Home" and will agree to host a Seka Purse Party!  (Prices range from $5 - $45)

The second way you can help would be to temporarily support our work with Seka.  Our overhead is $2,000 a month.  (This includes salaries for 11 people, rent of our building, electricity, night guard, and all the fabric and other sewing materials to make the bags.)  If we could maybe receive donations close to that for three to six months, it would help a lot as we try to get our feet off the ground.  If you could make any donations just for this project, we would need to have them mailed to the Rwanda Benevolence Fund at First United Methodist Church, 321 Thompson Drive, Kerrville, TX  78028.  Please specify the donation is for Seka Handbag Startup Fund.  Thank you!

If you think a little sewing co-op can't really make a difference, please thing again.  Here is an example from just last night.  I was two days late to come and buy the handbags the ladies had made, because we ourselves were short on money.  A friend came to tell me that two of the ladies and their children were very hungry. "They have not eaten at all today."  Here I was, all warm and comfortable in my home, and these poor ladies - mamas and their children! - were going hungry on my watch!

It was already dark, so I could not go out alone.  I called a student friend of ours, Pacifique, and he came and escorted my niece and me to the ladies homes.  We stopped along the way to buy rice, beans, salt and oil from a little store, just as it was closing, and delivered it to our friends.  Their children were so happy!  I was ashamed that I'd been late to make my purchases.  I do not want that to happen again.  Selling these bags truly means the difference between eating and not eating, between attending elementary school and not attending, between having clothes and not, for these ladies and their children.  Each morning, a pastor friend brings a Bible message of hope to the ladies, and they sing and pray together.  Also, we provide tea and bread each morning (newly installed practice).  And starting September 1, I have hired a student to teach them English for one hour each day.  Your support of this program will make all the difference in the lives of these widows and orphan ladies, and to their children (20 children in all). 

Thanks for reading this.  May God Bless you.

In Him,
Linda Berg

 


Monday, June 29, 2015

Philosophy and Upchuck

Ever noticed you think the most dreary thoughts while lying on a cold, hard bathroom floor, waiting for the next dreaded wave to overtake your stomach and force you to heave all the contents therein outside of your helpless body?  

Yeah, I just wrote that.

A virulent virus is weaving its ugly way through our compound, and Hailey and I were the (un)lucky recipients this weekend. 

(Please pray for our Burundi Evacuee Missionary guests, that we do not give them this gift, as they've had enough to contend with lately......)

Febrile, shaky, sore all over, weak and dizzy -- I found myself in kind of a delirium almost, wanting only for my Mama to be there with her soothing, cold washcloth on my forehead, telling me all would be better soon.  (My mom was always really good at nursing sick children.)

~

And then I remembered I was in Africa, that my mom was 8,000 miles away, and the worst thing I remembered was that I wasn't a kid anymore.  I was the grownup, and grownups don't get to have their moms lovingly put cold rags on their foreheads when they are throwing up.  Grownups have to be SURE they hit the toilet, lest they get stuck with the job of cleaning up their mess themselves. 

After a major pity party for a few seconds.....

I then started wondering what it would have been like to be like the women in my sewing co-op, who can't even remember their moms, much less ever have their moms put a cold washrag on their faces,  nor ever have cold, running water available in their homes, nor ever even own a clean and cold washrag.   I wondered what it was like to be Deste when he was little(r), when his parents drowned when he was still a nursing baby and had no one except his wonderful, but extremely poor, teenaged aunt to watch over him and to try to care for him when he felt sick.  I thought about how many millions of people have gone without basic care and attention to small things like coping with viruses.   

And then I felt quite silly for feeling sorry for my 50 year old self, that I didn't have my Mama with me just then. 

Being in my stream-of-consciousness, febrile-philosophical state, I also started thinking, "Why can't we do something about all the suffering in the world, about all the kids who don't have Moms?  Why is it wearing Tim and me out so much just trying to alleviate a small bit of suffering in one little corner of one little country in one little side of the Eastern side of Africa?" 

Nothing like trying to do something to make you realize how small and powerless you are, and how big and overpowering the world is.

It seemed to me then, while lying on the cold, hard floor, that it takes a whole lot more than two people to make a dent in something.  It seemed to me that unless every single person in the entire world who has been blessed with loving parents, with physical comforts, with experiencing the love of Jesus, with financial blessings - unless every single one of us decides to share our blessings with those who do not have them, the world will continue to be a painful, painful place for millions - billions - of people.  As someone I deeply admire said to her children when they were growing up: "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room." 

This week, Tim has 86 patients to round on every morning and evening.  How is he supposed to do anything BUT round on 86 patients, many of whom are crammed, 3 to a bed, in their ward?  Yet he also has multiple, multiple surgeries scheduled.  And next week, he loses Stephanie Land, who is his right arm in the surgery area.  Oh, and the suction isn't working in surgery, and hasn't been working for over a week.  I don't even know how they've done any surgery without that, but worse, they don't know when it will be fixed.  And, he has one patient who was in a severe motorcycle accident and had the lower half of her arm literally ripped off, along with all the skin from her neck downwards.  It is pretty horrid.  So, he has spent literally 2 hours EACH day cleaning and dressing that wound.  Two hours he doesn't have, treating a patient who is so sick that he would TRANSFER her to a better equipped hospital if he was working at his Kerrville Hospital.  That he is working on someone here who would need to be transferred from Kerrville says a lot.  Kerrville has far, far more ability to provide for this woman's needs than does our mission hospital here - and yet, he treats her here because there is nowhere else to send her.

So, why do we even stay?  Why are we still working in Africa if we can often see no difference being made, and often grow weary and exhausted and discouraged?  We stay because we believe God has asked us to stay, and because we are addicted to the JOY He gives us when we see that glimmer of difference that sometimes God delivers through the offering of our work here.  We stay because we believe "To whom much is given, much is required" (Luke 12:48), and we enjoy being able to share with friends here a bit of what we have so freely received all our lives.  We stay because we have hope that God can take our wimpy little offerings and can bless them and turn them into something big and good for His people here.  We stay because we believe in the power of God's redeeming love.  









Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Today is a day to remember our fallen heroes, but I also am asking God to bless the wives, husbands, parents and children of our current soldiers. 

They each pay a huge price, missing their daddy or mommy, husband or wife, son or daughter, while they serve overseas. And the soldier also pays such a huge, huge price. 

What a sacrifice of his or her life and time and all he or she holds dear. These families - the soldiers, the spouses, the parents and their children - need our love and support. 

Click to See a Great Video 

I hope our government fully appreciates all they do and all they give up. I don't know if they do, but at least we, the USA citizens, can be kind to them. I wish our government would take care of our veterans the way they should. Let's think of and try to do something special for someone - or for someone's family - who is active in the military today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Surprising Obstacles

Last December, during routine blood tests to check my weird thyroid,  my doctor noticed some out of the ordinary numbers regarding my kidney function.

Someone needs to inform my body that "Fifty = Fabulous", and not Fifty = Full On Body Fail". 

We redid the test a few times, always getting the same results.  The numbers weren't good, but they weren't horrible either, so I went ahead and returned to Rwanda.  I didn't want to delay my return any further, because as it was, I would only just make it back in time to meet Sam and Ruthie for their midterm 4 day break from school.  We had planned for me to fly directly back to Nairobi to meet them, as Tim could not take off work in Rwanda at that time.  It is required for one parent, or a guardian, which we would have had to pre-arrange and hadn't, to be there to pick up kids for this break time when the school shuts down for much needed staff R&R.  Besides really missing my kids, I was quite obligated to be there as well.  So, pretty much unless I was dying, I really needed to get on the plane and get to Africa.





Since then, my sweet in-house doctor, Tim, has made sure I've continued monitoring my kidney numbers via testing in an excellent clinic in Nairobi.  We'd thought perhaps this kidney deal was a temporary problem, which would rectify itself with some time.  However, six months later, my numbers still aren't good.

Frustrating, but certainly nowhere near the kind of concerns, hurts and problems we see daily with so many patients at our hospital - and with patients who have absolutely ZERO other options to just "fly to Kenya or America" for further care.

This really is just what I'd call a kidney "glitch".  It is nowhere near a crisis, or anything super scary.  It is just something we need to watch, and would sure like to figure out.  Yes, it's not good, but truly, it's not a big deal, either.

But, this kidney glitch highlights for me once again the unfairness of this current world.  I admit I am thankful to be born into the privilege that allows me to pay attention to something that wouldn't even be detected yet, were it happening with one of our friends here in Rwanda.  Yet I am also filled with enormous guilt that I am so privileged.  This once more makes me long for Heaven, when finally all will be made right.  All will be equally unfair there.  No one will be there out of "fairness".  All will be enjoying an eternal life of privilege, the bliss and joy of living and loving in a perfect environment, soaking up all that love and care, thrilled to be daily in the presence of our Friend and Savior, Jesus.  None will be left out, none will be second or third class.  None will be deprived while 10% consume 90% of the benefits.  I can't wait.

Meanwhile, my kidneys.  Even after multiple tests, we have no idea why they aren't working well.  We only know that they aren't.  They aren't terrible - I'm far from needing dialysis or anything.  But it is a concern.  I'm a point away from being stage 3 - so, technically stage 2, a good thing.

Is it because of my lifelong habit of drinking Coca-cola, for many years diet and the last 10 the "real thing"?  Is it because I have neglected to eat my veggies regularly?   Am I just unlucky in the kidney department?

We don't know.  But we are now at the point where I need to go back home for a biopsy.  Hopefully, that will tell us why this is happening and help us make a plan.

I won't be able to see anyone besides a few family members on my very quick 10 day trip - but I'd sure love to have your prayers as we try to understand what is happening with this half a century young body of mine, and how it will impact our future ministry in Africa.  We love working here.  We love living here.

Tim jokes that I must have been born African and switched at birth - I thrive in this culture.  And not just because we get to operate on "African Time" - though that really is a big plus for me!  But also, I love the food, the smiles, the greeting your friends on the road, the walking, not having to even worry one minute about my outfit being in style or ever concerning myself or watching others concern themselves with keeping up with the Joneses.  Heck, the Joneses don't even live here.  What do any of us care what they do?

Is it wrong to enjoy where you live and minister?  Or are we only supposed to go where we "suffer for Jesus"?  That isn't a real question, so no need to answer it.  Of course, it sure seems to me that God usually - not always, but usually - gives a real love of a place to those he sends somewhere - He is a good God and loving Father, yes?  Anyway, He certainly has done that for Tim and me and our kids.  As much as I love and miss the good ole USA, especially the Texas part,  I will always be so grateful to have moved to Africa and discovered whole new "lands that I love" and new countries that I pray for God to bless.  I don't just sing "God Bless America" anymore, but "God Bless America, and Rwanda, and Kenya, and DRC, and Burundi...."

Will you pray for me about my kidneys?  And for my travel back home?  And for the biopsy procedure?  And will you pray for Deste as I have to leave him behind yet again for another trip?  He'll be home with his Dad,  and with Aunt Jeanne, too, but still.....I worry about his heart - he has gone through so many changes!  Will you pray for our family? 

Thank you. 


Sunday, May 3, 2015

All in the Family

Our 23rd Anniversary Weekend




It might seem a bit strange for a couple to spend their anniversary celebration weekend WITH some of their children, but for us, this year, it was a perfect plan.  

Tim and I had to send Ruthie and Sam back to their boarding school two weeks ago, and we missed them already.  Since I needed to come to Nairobi last week for some medical tests (nothing too serious; don't worry, mom!), Tim decided to come join me here for the weekend so we could celebrate.  

Being so near the kids, we couldn't imagine spending the weekend so nearby them without seeing them.  So, the family-friendly anniversary weekend was born.  We found a very reasonably priced lodge called the "Lake Naivasha Resort", and headed out there on Saturday.  

For nearby families, we really enjoyed this place.  They have a few "luxury tent cabins", which means the tents have comfortable bed, toilet, sink, shower and electricity included.  There are multiple (10?) other non-luxury tents in a grove of beautiful Acacia trees, closer to the lake, which have the bed, but not the bathroom nor electricity, for quite a bargain price, especially in low season like now.  Then there are maybe 10 or 12 log type cabins - I didn't see inside those, but assume they were your basic cabin. They do have electricity.  The grounds are beautiful.  Large, open lawn, beautiful, tall trees, a clean and refreshing swimming pool, a restaurant, and dock with some small boats for cruising around the lake.  




 



More than anything, the beauty of this place comforted our tired souls and bodies, and provided an uninterrupted place for the four of us to visit, catch up, and just enjoy being together. 





Being Americans, of course we were also entertained by the numerous monkeys, especially the mamas and baby monkeys, roaming about and causing mischief.  One time, I wandered back to my tent from the swimming pool, only to find about 4 monkeys on my bed!  They scampered out as soon as I disturbed them by daring to enter my room.  I assume these cute little guys annoy locals, as they are scavengers and cause a bunch of chaos - kind of the way ranchers in Texas feel about armadillos, nutria in our lakes, and for some, even deer.  But for us Americans, we enjoyed every moment of watching these cute monkeys running around, stealing food, balancing and climbing trees so skillfully. 

 








What a treat!  Ice in our coke!  Ahhhhhh




I'm not going to want to go back to Nairobi tomorrow! 












But, I can't wait to return to Rwanda on Wednesday or Thursday to see my sweet Deste and Jeanne.  I miss them so much. 













Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shoots from Stumps

"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." ~ Isaiah 11:1

Lately I've run into some brick walls in my personal ministry here in Rwanda.  Things I would like to do, and feel moved to start, haven't worked out, and some things I've done, although they turned out well, have turned out to be very, very complicated.  Not that I wouldn't choose to do it again if I'd known how complicated life would become - but I might have taken a deeper breath first, and prepared myself for the walk through the mire to get from point A to point B.  

Tough times often spur introspection, and rightly so.  

"What could I have done differently?"  
"Was this really necessary or beneficial?"  
"What would I do next time?" 
"Am I making a difference or helping anyone at all?"

And of course, the well worn favorite of ex-pats everywhere, 

"What in the world am I even doing here?"  

With these questions running around in my brain, bouncing up against one another, I opened to Isaiah 11, having no idea how gently and dearly the words written there would encourage and affirm me.  

"A shoot will come up"........."from the stump of Jesse."  (from the stump of a dead old tree)




Something new and good would spring up from something old and dead.  The "shoot" here refers to Jesus, who would one day be born through the family line of David.  Jesse was David's dad, and not nearly such an amazing guy as David was.  Yet, from the dead old stump of Jesse, Jesus was born - and He turned the world upside down!  He brought LIGHT out of darkness, HOPE out of despair, and TRUTH into a world of lies.  

Ripples of Jesus's ministry are still moving outward to this day, over 2,000 years after His death and resurrection.   



But that was Jesus, the Divine Son of God.  Of course He turned the world upside down.  Of course his presence and work accomplished so much.  

As I read this passage, I was encouraged.  Any work that God leads anyone to do, anything done through the power of Jesus' Name, even though done by the equivalent of an old tree stump - is sure to somehow, some way produce a new shoot of life, a new promise of redemption and of miracles and of second chances and of God's love to his people.  


Only God knows what fruit will grow from what we often feel are our paltry offerings to God. 


When you think about it, compared to what God has done for us - anything anyone ever does for God is a "small thing".  It's all small stuff.   But we can choose to trust that God will take our very small things, things only as good as what you could expect to come from an old tree stump, and bring out from them beautiful shoots which will grow into solid, strong trees, which will then produce fruit and will become real blessings to many.  

That's real encouragement.  The truth is, what each of us do, no matter how mundane or incredibly small it may seem sometimes, it all matters.  It ALL matters. 

So, if God moves in your heart to bake some cookies for a neighbor, to help a friend update her resume while she looks for a new job, to seek to bring justice to someone who has been mistreated and used or neglected, or to just do the dishes when it's not your turn, do not think this is too small a thing for God.  Nothing is too small for Him.  And He can take all our work, no matter how closely it resembles an old tree stump's leftovers, recover it and make it into a tall, strong tree for His Glory.  

Don't give up!  

 A few of the shoots growing up out of my old stump......things that give me joy and happiness and hope for the future.....
One of Tim's patients from last year came to visit and brought her new baby!  This is child number 7 for her!

Our dear friend and "adopted son", Pacifique -on his way to drop off his application for medical school.  

Saying good-bye to our little sweetheart, Kito, the day he was taking the ferry boat back to Idjwi Island with his Uncle. 







Jeanne and Kito, saying good-bye.

Kito's Uncle, who came to take him home.  What a sweet man. 

Gordance, a friend who attends our nearby University.

A partially paralyzed grandmother who couldn't see to read anymore.  Pacifique brought her some reading glasses. 

My friend at the market who sells ladies and children's clothing. (Above and below)




Dear friends who are seamstresses.  (above and below)








Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Remember Your Journey


In reading through Micah recently, these verses encouraged me:

“Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, 
that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.” 
 ~ Micah 6:5b



Since June 2012, but really since April 2011, when we said “YES, We Will Go”, and made our decision to move to Africa public, life has moved at warp speed much of the time.  I almost feel as though I have lived two lives, the Pre-Africa life and the Africa one. 

As I reflect on our family’s identity, I sometimes have a hard time looking at our family history in any kind of continuum – instead it feels like two separate lives – that is how different the experiences are.


I love Rwanda.  I love East Africa (the only part of Africa I’ve seen).  But sometimes, even when everything is good, so good, in this present African life, sometimes I yearn, I long, like a child away at camp for the first time, for my Pre-Africa life. 

I see that past life through a very rose-colored lens, conveniently forgetting any and all arguments, sibling rivalries, loads and loads of laundry, home repairs constantly needed, marital strife, and all other stresses, and I only remember my happy little house in my small town neighborhood, where I homeschooled our four children, raised chickens, enjoyed having pets, swam almost year round with the family in our pool, took my kids to music lessons, baseball practice and games, boy scouts and the waterpark, and visited with friends while buying whatever I liked at the town grocery store, the town social hub, the H-E-B.  I even have extremely happy memories of building snowmen and sledding down the hill by our house, on formal dinner serving trays (because what Texan owns a real sled??) on those few glorious days every other winter or so when we would have ice, sleet or even snow storms.
 

























































What is my very favorite memory of our Pre-Africa life?

 My favorite memory of all is remembering how we all lived under the same roof.  

 I fondly look back on those days, especially when I’m missing my kids like crazy. 

Those four sweet little homeschoolers of the past now live in Illinois, Texas and Kijabe, Kenya, while their Mom and Dad live in Kibogora, Rwanda.  Instead of living in bedrooms sharing a common hallway, we now live in locales sharing only the same planet.  Gone are the days of muddy footprints on the floor, of wet trails leading through my house from the outdoor pool to the refrigerator for a snack, of homemade “I love you” cards and jelly smeared hand and face hugs.  But, I do get to say hello to today:  of having intelligent, inspiring and challenging conversations with my globally aware and sensititive adult and teen children, to read books that THEY recommend to ME (instead of reading Dr. Seuss over and over to them!), and I do get to enjoy watching them become independent citizens of God’s world. 

My challenge when I’m feeling homesick for my former life is to remember that we will always be family, we will always be knitted together with love, no matter how many miles separate us. 

But when I’m longing for a time travel machine, so I can relive just one of those days when the children were young and we all shared the same roof, in the same wonderful town –  for the days when we would go to the hospital and visit their Daddy in between his cases – this passage from Micah reminded me. 

“Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, 
that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.” 
 ~ Micah 6:5b


Consider the journey.  Remember your journey.   

 It is good for me to remember the past. 


But more importantly, it is good that I remember all the times God saved, protected, guided, corrected, warned, inspired, and helped me and us in the past – indeed, I need to remember all the times he did these for each member of our family. 

Because, though my memory is so rose colored, the truth is, those days were often hard, just as these days can be hard. We had more than our share of interpersonal conflict in our home.  Though I worked and tried to provide a peaceful home for our family, I think my battles with anxiety and with other demons were big contributors to our daily struggles ~ we often fought, we sometimes really misunderstood each other, we judged, and we hurt one another. 

Sometimes, Tim and I wanted to just give up on our marriage.  We were so different!  How would we ever be able to understand each other?  Sometimes, we wondered if God knew what he was doing when he let us be the parents of our children – we felt so clueless as to how to raise them the way God wanted!  (We didn’t even know what He might want a lot of the time.)   And yet, amazingly, in spite of our mistakes, they all turned out great. 

 Remember your journey.  

Remember His faithfulness. 

Yes,  God was soooo faithful to us.  He got us through.  He gave us love and hope and he daily renewed our strength.  In spite of our stubborn natures (and oh, are we stubborn!), of our myriad mistakes, or some decisions that we knew were wrong, yet chose to make anyway (okay, I’m speaking for myself in that one – I don’t think Tim ever made those, but I sure did), God was so faithful to us to keep us all together and to see us through. 

His grace and mercy to us are why we are a family today.  Of why we all still have each other.  Of why we have HIM.  And when I read this passage from Micah, I remember, to keep being able to trust Him for where we are now, for where we are going, I must remember the way He kept us safe, and kept us going, in our past journeys. That gives me the strength and hope to keep trusting Him on our new journey. 

So, how about you?  How does remembering God’s faithfulness to you in your past impact your journey with Him today? What are some specific ways He showed his love and faithfulness, grace and/or mercy to you in your past?  And how will that make a difference for your heart’s cry to Him now?  I’ d love to hear. 

“Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, 
that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.” 
 ~ Micah 6:5b