My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Forgetting What Your Face Looks Like

This week, I struggled with so many things. I have been sick for a long time and was frustrated that I was feeling so poorly. I was working on our school yearbook, and while I love that our internet is faster and wireless and I can skype for the first time in years, it was still slow when it came to uploading the pictures I needed to upload. But, most of all, I felt burdened for our school. Just seeing teachers work out of frustration. Seeing people operate out of anger rather than any Kingdom mindset. And I was burdened and broken and tired of fighting the same battle again and again. 

Wednesday morning, I read this this from James 1:

Listening and Doing

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.20 Human anger[g] does not produce the righteousness[h] God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

And I felt so strongly that our staff, not all of them, but some, were not living in this place. They know the truth. They may have even memorized this very scripture. But, when it came to living it out, they looked in the mirror and walked away and forgot what they looked like. The first opportunity of testing, they forgot the truth.

When I began to talk to them about God's dream of this place, tears filled my eyes. I long for this place to be so filled with the presence of God that when people even step foot on our land, they can't help but fall to their knees in worship. This picture breaks me because I know that God must work through his people to make this happen...which means his people MUST remember what they have seen in the mirror, must walk in the truth for Gods presence to be made fully known on this land. It has to be made known in me...in them...

And I was reminded of Hebrews 11, which talks about the many men and women of faith who walked before us, living into the very promises of God. I love what verse 13 says,

13 All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 

Abraham, Noah, Enoch...they all walked in the promises of God...they didn't turn away and forget...no matter how silly they sounded or how foolish it made them look. But the truth is, they didn't live to see the promise fulfilled. They walked in the promises of God KNOWING that they wouldn't see the end of the promise, but still trusting it would be fulfilled.

Because it's not just about the promise, but about the legacy.

And that is what it's all about. Everything that God has used me to do here...it's not for me. I won't change this world. I just won't. But these kids. They might just do that. They might just change this world. If we give them the tools they need...love them unconditionally...and God gives them the full revelation of who He is and who they are...they will.

So, I long for us to be transformed. To teach them how to look in the word and walk away changed with the truth. To walk fully in the miracles of God. Because it's not for us. This life isn't for us. It is for us to give away. It is for the Kingdom.

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