There are a couple of things I'd like to say as we begin this semester together. First of all, I hope that this will be the time of our lives, not only in the sense of a marvelous adventure abroad, but an experience that will teach us to truly follow Christ and sense the healing, guiding presence of the Holy Spirit among us. Recently, I've been doing quite a bit of reflection on the story of Jacob because there are those moments in his life where he questions God's presence. In the story of Jacob's ladder, we learn something quite consequential about God's presence in our lives:
Jacob left Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. 11He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12And he dreamed that there was a ladder* set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13And the Lord stood beside him* and said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed* in you and in your offspring. 15Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’ 16Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!’ 17And he was afraid, and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’
The words of this passage in Genesis ask us to consider that every place we find ourselves, we need to seek God's presence...and not only in place, but in people, and in ourselves. God is in our heart and His presence fills us with peace, in our hearts and our minds. My prayer for this semester is that we would pray unceasingly for God's presence to be felt in the service, learning and recreation that we enjoy.
Together we created a covenant that expressed our commitments to one another on this semester. I ask that you would reflect on those commitments and prayerfully consider how we will seek God together as we experience Ghana!
I cannot wait to see all of you and begin our journey!