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23 Lessons Immersion Has Taught Me – Rehoboth, Namibia


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by "6M Africa" IMMERSION team member Chelsey Morris

It's been a while since my last post, but I wanted to share with all of you a few of the lessons I've learned thus far on our trip. Your constant support has been a huge blessing, please continue to encourage and pray for our team!

We are serving in Rehoboth, Namibia as teachers, counselors, youth week planners, outreachers, tons-of-meat-eaters, and downright missionaries. Our schedule keeps us fairly busy and it's left so much room for God to shine through our tired moments. The small desert town, and its brightly painted houses, is home to many wonderful families and many hurting people. Some things don't change no matter how many borders you cross. This part of the trip has been the most difficult for me, emotionally and spiritually, some of the things we are dealing with are heavy. Luckily it's not up to me to provide the strength. I'd love to share more, but due to the amount of counseling done in the past few weeks, it feels like there aren't many specifics that can be posted. It seems that many of my stories from Rehoboth may stay here, as part of a quiet bond between the community and our team. You can, however, pray for the youth of Rehoboth as they seek answers, truth, and affirmation.

So, what can I share with you? What story will I tell? Today, you'll get a glimpse into...

23 Lessons Immersion Has Taught Me

1. Eat what's on your plate—all of it—and ask questions later.

2. Cipro is your new best friend.

3. It doesn't matter what you think you're good at—you are a singer, a teacher, a therapist, a youth leader, a dancer, a public speaker, and a devotion leader.

4. That being said, leave your fears at home. There's no room for "but I'm not a _______."
In Immersionland, you're whatever the situation calls you to be.

5. Seriously, carry toilet paper and a Bible at all times. It's real life.

6. Quiet time with God may not actually be quiet. You have to find new ways to find Him in the not-so-still moments.

7. Each country has its own rhythm. Once you find it, relax and enjoy. Your American concept of scheduling will do you no good!

8. God is at work in the little moments. A hug, a cold glass of water, or a conversation after class. There is nothing too small for Him to use.

9. If something is supposed to happen, God will make a way. If it doesn't work, it wasn't supposed to.

10. You can never truly run on empty, no matter how drained you feel. Each time you hit your limit physically, emotionally, or spiritually, God will fill you up! The energy and enthusiasm will probably have nothing to do with how much you slept, but everything to do with God answering prayers.

11. The Holy Spirit can quite literally speak for you. How cool is it to let the Big Man upstairs do all the talking?

12. Mission work is not about handouts, it's about the hand up.

13. The Church has nothing to do with a building. We are a body of believers called to make disciples, no fancy building needed.

14. Showering daily is not important, the sleep is probably more valuable!

15. Everyone in the world has smelly feet.

16. Sometimes there's a lot more power in listening to someone's story than in telling your own.

17. There's no room for pride here. You're going to re-learn even the most simple tasks, like watering plants or dicing onions.

18. As Westerners, we have done immeasurable damage to Africa because we think we know better. We don't know better, we know different. We could stand to learn a few things ourselves.

19. Worms are surprisingly crunchy. Intestines are unsurprisingly chewy.

20. There is always room for growth. Your strengths can be made stronger, yes, but God is all about using our weaknesses in ministry.

21. Its called a mission field for a reason. You're always in the business of planting, watering, or harvesting. The work is long and tiring, but there's no greater feeling than knowing the Savior in charge of the harvest.

22. Satan is a liar, and he's really good at what he does. He will try to steal your joy at every turn. But God is always, always greater.

23. 6 months is a short-term trip. Extremely short!

Our team is past the halfway point of our 6-Month Africa Immersion program and are already three weeks into life in Namibia! Please pray for our host families, our work in the schools and church, community outreach, team relationships, health, and the remaining time we have in Rehoboth. Please keep encouraging your team members and covering us in prayer against lies of the enemy! It's prayer month here and Satan is at work to tear apart the work God is doing. But make no mistake, God is at work here!

CHELSEY MORRIS is a member of Experience Mission's 6-Month Africa IMMERSION team. After spending time on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and Olievenhoutbosch, South Africa, her team is now in Rehoboth, Namibia, stage 3 out of 4 along their six month missions journey. This post is a personal reflection, and the views expressed are her own.

LEARN MORE | Join the 6M Africa team launching in January! Or learn more about the rest of our 2014 Immersion programs.