Education - Family - Community
This is Tim Olson's blog - to write about my personal life, my spiritual life, to help people think, to write about youth group, to write about Church - just a journal. Hopefully friends will be able to keep up with me and my life a bit better this way - and I'd love a comment now and then. Soli Deo Gloria.
The retreat is over and it was amazing! I believe God did great things. I could share about it all for hours. To summarize – I got to know over 50 people’s names (and every time I learned a name I had a conversation). I was very well received by students and was impressed by their attentiveness, questions, and hearts (from one on one conversations, to sitting in on a variety of small groups, to table conversation, to a time of sharing we had). On the last morning I led worship (I taught some new songs) and then there was a long time of sharing. It was amazing. Let me share a few highlights of that.
· I am scared to go back to England – and I don’t want to leave. I have to know that God is with me or I won’t talk to anyone. I need to find my identity in Christ.
· Before I came to this retreat – worship was a really shallow thing. I just did it to please God. But now I realize it’s something that I am supposed to enjoy and God too.
· I feel like I don’t live up to the standards others put on me. Now I don’t want to let any stickers stick – only what God says matters (stickers is a reference to something I read about identity in Christ).
· (Cameroonian said this – a huge answer to prayer) I came here just to mess around – I’m not really into God – I wasn’t really like you guys – into God and loving God. It really got to me – it pushed me to taking my first step into loving God –
Benjamin has been doing great and is enjoying Cameroon. Today was the first day he didn’t feel great. Tomorrow we hope to get to a village which would be great. We hope to find more ministry to do while here – and have a little fun.
Please praise God with us and pray:
- For God to bring people to minister to and ministry opportunities.
- For health and safety – especially for Benjamin now
- For the students at RFIS as I am sure there will be many ways they will be tempted in the coming days.
My heart is overflowing with thankfulness and praise to God. He IS answering your prayers. I have seen him working in lives and have been encouraged by many generous words – the most common so far – “I never take notes when we have speakers but I am this week.” Give God the praise that He is touching hearts and lives. I’ve had some very rich and deep conversations with students about a variety of subjects. I’ve also talked to one young lady with a very heave heart – she needs courage to deal with her pain – pray for her. Many students who at first seemed to want nothing to do with me have let me into their lives a bit. The food is great. The weather has been cooler than normal (so cool that some Africans have been cold – of course, I was sweating). This place we are staying is incredibly nice – I couldn’t have imagined it would be so nice and comfortable (and it even has wireless internet). Benjamin is doing great on every level.
I speak on Brokenness and Surrender tomorrow morning. Tomorrow night I will be using the 10th commandment to talk about finding our satisfaction and joy in Jesus. Thursday morning I think I will lead worship – but I don’t speak. We had home Thursday afternoon (back to Yaounde). I leave the country next Tuesday. There is so much I could tell you. I will leave you with 3 prayer requests.
1) My heart is burdnened for some students who are unsaved (most in that category are from Cameroon).
2) There are many students who have hurt in their lives – and need to forgive – pray for them.
3) Keep praying that God would pour me out and use me in many lives (and work in me too).
We are in Africa (Yaounde, Cameroon). We arrived safely – met all our planes in plenty of time. The flights were less than half full.
A few highlights – praise God with me
- Eating home-made pizza our first night here with some missinoary families
- Sleeping – 11 hours – last night
- Being with family – we are staying with my Uncle Phil and Aunt Suzanne Falconer – anyone that knows them knows that they are superb hosts – over the top
- Seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, tasting Africa again – and with Benjamin
- Benjamin is doing great after sleep – I think tomorrow we’ll both be feeling closer to normal
While I could share a ton of prayer requests, let me just give a couple – so you can focus on it. Pray big!!!
We are so blessed! Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, if with His love He befriend Thee!!!
We are healthy, happy, and very well taken care of in every way by Uncle Phil and Aunt Suzanne. We walked about 30 minutes to a bilingual church. It was a challenging eperience for Benjamin – from the heat to the fact that he can’t understand the English of Cameroonians – especially over a very poor speaker system. The normal 2 hour service was made longer by a special focus on youth. It was wonderful for Tim to be in Church in Africa. Then this afternoon we also played some soccer with a bunch of missionary kids. Good times
We leave the house before 7 tomorrow morning to meet at school. After getting all ready, we hope to leave on 2 buses by 7:30. I speak once tomorrow evening (see my blog for more info – firstname.lastname@example.org) and then twice on Tuesday and Wednesday. I may lead worship on Thursday morning.
I will likely not be able to email or anything until the retreat is over. I am very thankful for having met more than 10 students already (between hanging out at the sports tournaments at RFIS on Saturday and playing soccer today). I am praying that stuents are open to the message I am bringing from the start.
So many obvious things to pray for... here are the top 3.
I could list so many other things, and I hope you think ofmany other things to pray for.
Pray Big!!! Let’s see what God might do!