Living God's Dream by Alissa Cooper

When I first made the decision at nine years old to live God's dream, I know that I did not fully understand what it would mean for me to do this. I did not understand what it would cost me in future years or how drastically my life would change. I did not understand the challenges that I would face, but I also was unaware of how amazing it would be to see God's hand at work in the minute details of my life. I could not have comprehended the events that would take place in my life as I fully surrendered every part of myself to him. I could not have known the joy that would fill my own heart as I was truly able to participate in the work of the maker of Heaven and earth-serving as a handmaiden simply responding to the voice and signals of her master. I definitely did not realize how beautiful it would be to see God expand my vision and resources to bring life and hope to the destitute and despairing people of Africa.

When I made the decision as an adult to leave the familiar and comfortable-my teaching position, my family, my friends, my culture, as well as many other things-I could not have known all that such a big resolution would entail. I could not have known the adventure that I would be embarking on. I could not have known the cost that would be paid nor the price that would be gained. I most certainly did not realize all that God was going to release as I stepped out in faith and obedience.

One thing that I did comprehend when I made the decision to go to Uganda, Africa is that "the will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not keep you". I definitely understood that "the safest place to be is in the will of God," and I was fully convinced that when God says go, you follow in obedience. I realized that there was no turning back for me-My life would be changed forever.

My life has changed forever, and I can't wait to return to my new home in Uganda. My heart aches to return to the suffering and neglected children. I long to once more hold as many children as I can in my arms and show them love. I yearn to do more for the abandoned children that I have seen with my own eyes. I am compelled to respond to the cries of the children and people in the villages.

Nevertheless, as I have spent the last two months in America I have also learned even more about what it truly means to live God's dream. I have learned that living God's dream is more about trust and faith than anything else. Living God's dream is about believing God for the impossible and living out that belief in your life every day. It is about choosing faith over fear and victory over defeat. It is about choosing to keep your eyes focused on the one who holds your future instead of on what the future holds.

It is about choosing to trust that God is faithful and trustworthy, even when everything in life seems so much bigger than you are, when everything familiar suddenly becomes unfamiliar, when you take on challenges that you have never faced before, when circumstances don't seem to make sense, or when God sends you down a path that you would not have chosen for yourself. It is about firmly believing that God will always be there for you and that he will provide all that you need-at just the right time- in order for you to fulfill the dream that he has dreamed for you.

I am humbled that God has chosen me to live his dream for the orphans of Uganda, and I am overwhelmed at the realization that God delights in using frail human beings to accomplish his purpose of saving the world. Yet, I have found that there is no greater joy than responding to the call of my master and pursuing the mission for which I was created.

I pray that I will never lose the awe and wonder of the God that I serve and will always delight in doing his will. I pray that I will always remember that it is not my strength, but his power. It is not my adequacy, but his sufficiency. It is not my confidence, but his trustworthiness. It is not my love, but his compassion. It is not my dream, but his vision.

Thank you very much for all of your love, support, and prayers. God is doing so many wonderful things in my life. I give him all of the glory, honor, and praise. He continues to astound me with his goodness. I thank God for the many doors of opportunity that have opened since I have been back in America. I eagerly anticipate even greater things in the days, weeks, and years to come!

Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I endeavor to serve the Lord with all of my heart, soul, strength, and life.

We now have this light (of God) shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
II Corinthians 4:7-10

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