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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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Thoughts on turning 33

In just two days, I turn 33 years old. 

I was asked recently how I felt about turning 33. It's not really a milestone birthdate. No one really does much celebrating of such an in-between age.

A friend of mine sent me a picture of my 26th birthday earlier this week. That year, my friends kidnapped me and dressed me up in the craziest clothes and toured me around to all kinds of places with extremely embarrassing tasks to complete. And I loved it...nothing really important about that age, but the love of really great friends made that birthday perfect.

My first year in Ghana, I turned 29 years old. We were living in downtown Doryumu, and I was still caring for Edwin, my sleep frequently interrupted with his cries. John and Stacy took me out that day, just me and them. We went and ate pizza and went to a movie, my first time seeing a movie in Ghana. I remember the sweetness of that day, another in-between year.

And when I turned 30, I was adamant that I wanted to celebrate in style. My friend Christy met me in Australia and I celebrated my 30th with a ten day trip to Melbourne (with a few days of fun in Sydney) with friends from a group called YGAP. It was an amazing trip and built some pretty awesome friendships. That was a milestone birthday!

But 33?

Despite all that, the question has kept me thinking. I keep being brought back to the one guy who changed the world in his 33rd year. Crowds seemed to follow him everywhere he went. He had this quiet presence that didn't demand change, but simply offered it freely. He loved without limits. He did things that people had never seen before. 

And then...he died. And it didn't make sense.

Everyone who knew him, even those who had only heard of him...they were suddenly confused. Hope disappeared as easily as it had come. 

But, they didn't see. They didn't fully see.

Jesus needed to die...he needed to be the perfect sacrifice...and he needed to defeat the enemy..to regain the power that was always His in the first place...to tear the curtain that had separated us from God...to make a way to the Father that loves us too much to continue to live in separation. 

And when He rose from the grave, it had all been accomplished. Everything he set out to do was done.

It was his 33rd year that changed it all.

For some reason, I have some sense of that too. 

Not that this is the year that I will change the world (for what can I change on my own? and what can I do but impact my own little world of influence?), but that this year is a turning point year. It's not something to reach towards, but something to look back on and see all that came in that time, in that season, in that year.

As leadership here at City of Refuge, we have been praying that God will take us further in, that He would open our eyes to see what He sees. And it's starting. And honestly, our hearts are breaking because what we see is so utterly broken and what we feel is so hard. And even if this is just the tiniest portion of God's heart that we are now experiencing, that we are beginning to see...I can only imagine what God's whole heart sees and feels.

It throws me back into a posture of leaning on His strength. I cannot handle this in my own strength. I need Him. I need the help of His Church, His good people.

And I see that turning point out ahead, a memorial of sorts, pointing out that there is something new on the horizon, a new breakthrough, a new level of intimacy, a new trust.

33 years.

Here we go.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning, how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because through them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Ghana? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Ghana in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez