Saturday, January 19, 2013


A Journal Entry:  Friday, 01/11/13, Day 12.

What does “I surrender all” really mean?

Today, I learned that the Upper Primary school is in great danger of not opening at all due to lack of funds, which of course left me reeling. What about the kids? What would I do? What’s my purpose here?

Just a few hours later, as we were listening to music, the song, “I surrender all” came on. As the questions swirled around me, the lyrics willed me to stop and ponder the words.

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust him,
In his presence daily live.

You would think this is enough. To leave my family and friends, a steady job, and the comforts of home to come to the middle of the desert with the desire to live and speak the hope I have in Jesus. Does the Lord want to me to surrender even that? My ideas and notions and dreams for why I came here? I know that God is sovereign, and I know that I can trust him, but do I actually believe that when the rubber meets the road?

I spent the last couple days learning and thinking through what it looks like to be a teacher, and I’m pretty stoked for the opportunity. But is that my hope and desire, or Christ’s? What he may want from me could be very different than what I originally planned for. And truly He knows what is best.

“In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.” [Ephesians 1:11]

I feel like I am warring with myself. I desperately want the school to open, but above that, may I be able to say that I want desperately for Christ to have his way, whatever that looks like.

Lord, may your will be done. May I surrender all.


Just yesterday, exactly one week after I wrote these words, I stood in front of many eager faces, who were ready to learn whatever math and English knowledge I brought their way. I cannot deny the joy I found in teaching them. Delays, simple accommodations, and lack of resources have no standing when compared to the precious children I have been entrusted with.

The two classrooms that I teach in.
I teach two English classes and one Math to Standard 7 (7th grade) students.

In light of this, it might be easy for me to forget or ignore the questions I was wrestling with only seven days prior. The school has indeed opened, but this does not mean I can surrender anything less than my everything. Sometimes the Lord gives us our desires, and sometimes He gives us new desires. But may our overarching desire be to know Him more, and to surrender anything and everything that stands in the way of that. I am still understanding what “all” looks like, and I will be throughout the whole of my life. But in each moment, both simple and difficult, understandable and incomprehensible, sensible and illogical, may we strive toward that “all.”

Please lift up the school, the 300 students, and the 12 teachers in your prayers. Funding issues have not been resolved, and the teachers are practically volunteering their time as they appreciate whatever sporadic paycheck may come. If you know of any church, organization, or individual who is interested in regularly supporting Biblically-based, Christian education in Kenya, please let me know.

Two of my students, Christine and Chulayo.

I pray that wherever God has us today, we may look to him and say, “I surrender all.” 

On the school grounds. Praising God for this opportunity!


  1. "But may our overarching desire be to know Him more, and to surrender anything and everything that stands in the way of that."

    amen, my friend. i'm so glad the school did open and you are able to teach, but even more i'm so glad that you're so incredibly teachable. what a good reminder for my heart this morning.

    love to you from indiana!

  2. hey!! it's 8:39 p.m. in Kenya!! :) I just noticed the addition to the blog :)

    Today's verse of the day on YouVersion was Micah 7:18 ... and reminded me to pray for AIM - and my favorite part, the last part especially... "because he delights in steadfast love."

    Keep steadfast-ly loving your kids!! It is compelling!