The funny thing about leadership and life is that you’re never done learning. There are always scenarios and moments that stretch you and cause you to move past what you think you know and teach you something new.
Every time I find myself in a position of leadership I am very aware of this fact. They are the times in life I know that in the future I will look back fondly on, but usually not enjoy the most while I am walking through it. At least that has been my experience up until this trip to Morocco.
I am learning about patience and humility more than ever before, its constantly stretching but wonderfully rewarding.
Leading a group of 12 students, 10 girls 2 guys has a variety of challenges in and of itself, but if we add in the dynamic of being a female leader in a country where woman have little to no value, thats a whole new twist.
Not being able to walk into a cafe and order my own drink or ask for assistance, but needing to have a guy step into that role, makes me think back to the days of old, how women were daughters then wives then mothers and that was the be all and end all of their existence.
In this challenging culture, I’m fighting it with the strength God gives me every day, what I have been living by is the simple statement “I breathe therefore I pray.”
I ask God to help me love the Moroccans even when it’s hard. To love them and view them as He does. To see their value in His Kingdom despite the culture they know or their misunderstandings of mine.
With the oppressive religion of Islam everywhere I turn, everywhere my eyes land, I also see the infiltration of dedicated apathy and misery. I think back on Easter morning, and the excitement I had to wake up at 6am to walk down to the beach to spend time in worship and prayer, celebrating the risen King.
As we walk out the front door of our hotel we see the religious men walking like living dead out the main doors of the mosque, no joy, no excitement, no celebration on their faces just the residue of fulfilled duty.
As we see the sky turn a mix of orange and red over the mountain housing the Kasbah that is inscribed God. Country. King. We sing of how Jesus is risen and we rest in the assurance of the gift of Grace afforded us by His sacrifice. My heart is pleading that my Father would see His lost children of Morocco come to know this same gift of Grace, and learn how to live a life of freedom in knowing that they are the Beloved of the King of the Universe. I pray that they would be delivered from the chains and bondage of Islam and released into the joy and peace living in the presence of the living God.
“I breathe therefore I pray”
I am dedicated to bringing the light and love of God into this nation clouded with darkness. I am fully invested to living life fully alive, loving my team well and loving the people around me well so that Christ can shine through me and spark a curiosity that leads to the freedom of my lost brothers and sisters.
My favorite moment so far was about a week ago after we had a time of worship, prayer and sharing devotionals on the beach, a game of soccer erupted and we were joined by Amina, a young girl dressed in a full Habib. We girls joined forces and the boys had no choice but to be impressed!
Those are my most treasured moments of just living life and being “normal” people, but entering fully into the culture and opening up a space of acceptance and freedom to allow Amina to join our game on the beach.
I ask that you would join us in prayer for unity, strength and even more love for each other as we finish out the last few weeks of our time here in Morocco.
Zoe Hewlett – January 2014 Morocco Outreach Leader