Not quite. Elliot had a few administrative meetings today with the faculty, so the rest of the team worked on different projects. Nathan took on the role of CAPA van driver, and we had a near death experience this morning. An attempt to overtake a large semi-truck turned into a terrifying maneuver into the right side of the road (the wrong side in this country). Nonetheless, we arrived safely at CAPA, ready for a new day of serving.
Praise God! We finished interviewing all of the students, and much of the transcribing. All that is left is to edit them and put them on the CAPA website. Although our main task of interviewing was complete, there was still plenty of work to be done.
Our next great task was to catalog and label over a thousand donated books that would eventually make their way onto the shelves of the CAPA library. There was a cornucopia of books, ranging from short, practical books, to multi-volume commentaries. We spent much of the day digging through boxes of book, and taking breaks to eat interestingly tasting South African snacks, and they were delicious. Samantha provided us with the Beauty and the Beast: Original Broadway recording to sing along to while we shuffled boxes full of theological knowledge. Overall, it was a productive and relaxed day.
The team was kept in a jolly mood on the drive home as several team members ushered in the Christmas season… several months early.
“There are only two seasons: waiting for Christmas season, and Christmas season” -Bridget Lee
Elliot gave his last devotional for the trip, and its message was a necessary reminder to the team as we drew near the end. He read from Numbers 11:1-6, and throughout the rest of the chapter, while addressing the sin of complaining. The focus was not necessarily on complaining verbally, which can be
avoided pretty easily, but complaining from the heart. Israel was punished for complaining against God when hardships arose in the wilderness, even to go so far as to say that they desired to return to Egypt. As punishment, the Lord sent the desired meat to the Israelites, but to such a degree that they would grow sick of it. Then came a plague that struck down those who craved the quail. God never guaranteed easy passage from Egypt to the Promised Land, but still commanded faithfulness from the Israelites. Their complaints were an act of rebellion and forgetfulness of the Lord’s plan, and was deserving of punishment. The same applies to our sanctification. Christ guaranteed that we will suffer for His name, to be hated by the world. Yet, Paul encourages us, reminding us that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. I was also reminded of what Jim mentioned a couple of days ago at dinner. He said that Americans tend to complain about what they don’t have, in light of not really facing much hardship. The students that at CAPA, however, seem to never complain about their circumstances, despite suffering from extreme poverty. This, I found, to be so convicting, as I saw in myself still how much I envied after what others had. Seeing the seminary students’ devotion to their personal holiness, as well as passion for expositing the word, in light of their daily challenges, gives me even greater joy in serving and reminds me to give thanks to the Lord for His perfect faithfulness and provision.
Please pray for the hearts of the team, that while we continue to serve, we point each other to Christ. Pray also that we remain joyful, serve with love, and fight ingratitude where it may arise. Finally, pray for the students and faculty of CAPA, that they finish off their final day tomorrow with excellency and the reminder that they serve the living God, whose glory will be proclaimed throughout the ends of the Earth through His son Jesus Christ.
Sola Deo gloria