Saying Yes to God: Building Bridges Across the Waters

From vision to reality

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(Photo by Ubuntu Global Village Communications. Our first Global Leaders Refresh Retreat in Kigali, Rwanda, October 2022)

Greetings of peace from Kigali Rwanda!

First of all, I give God thanks for the Seeds Fellows Program and to be a part of this 2023 Cohort for such a time as this!

Saying “Yes” to the Seeds Project has meant saying “Yes” and stepping out on faith to fly from my home in Chicago to Rwanda this past January and to lean all the way into God’s calling on my life. Back in 2003, when I was ordained at Faith in Action in Durban, South Africa, just before I was graduating with my Master of Divinity at McCormick Theological seminary in Chicago, God gave me a Vision of Bridges Across the Waters and showed me that my job is to take people back and forth across the bridges across the waters (between the U.S. and Africa). In doing so, centuries of healing would take place.

Real talk, it took me almost 20 years to begin to fully live into this vision and assignment. I took 15 bridge building trips, 11 of which were to South Africa. We planned to host our first Ubuntu Global Journey in 2020. However, with pandemic restrictions, no travel was possible and this vision was delayed more than three years.

What do you do when the vision God gives you is delayed? 

Pray, listen in. Seek God together. Write down what God says.

“Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That the one may run who reads it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

Finally in 2022, I began traveling globally again. First in April, to London for the first time for Resurrection Sunday season to preach and minister poetic prophetics at ICAN Community Church London. In May, I traveled with the FaithX mission trip to Rwanda. And it was there I began to reflect on the 2003 vision of building these bridges across the waters. 

In October 2022, at God’s leading, I returned to Rwanda to write my doctoral thesis on “Healing Racism from the Inside Out” about the virtual Healing Racism Poetry and Journaling Experiences that we offered in 2021 online.

While in Rwanda, I began to pray about how we could offer these retreat experiences in person and even invite people to these significant locations of Rwanda and South Africa.

While I have been a 2023 Seeds Fellow, I also became a Do Good X Fellow. This entrepreneurial program provides a 10 week accelerator to build and strengthen the business of your social good venture. This November, I participated in the Pitch for Good for investors and partners. As Africa Exhale Retreats is being born, we are seeing God’s Vision from 2003 becoming a reality. Praise God!

(Photo:  From Africa Exhale and Ubuntu Global Retreats. The Vision is becoming reality.)

Launching in 2024, we will offer global retreats for leaders to decompress, de-stress, connect and even refresh to hear and receive God’s direction and calling for these times.

We will launch this February. If you or your church, organization or community would like to partner to support, please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] or via our Seeds Fellow Site.

Questions for reflection & journaling

So let me ask you as I reflect and journal about this myself: 

  • What is God calling you to in these times?
  • Is there a word, a project, a vision that God gave you some time ago that maybe in the busy-ness of life and even ministry you have forgotten about?
  • Take some moments to write about this. Journal it out. Remember. Re-member.

As I close, I share this poem that I also ministered at our Seeds Reunion Retreat this past August from my collection Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Poem Book.

As you reflect on God’s calling for you for these times, and your own “Yes” to God, journal and reflect on this also.  

  • What do you see? 
  • What do you hear?  
  • How is God speaking to you in these times?

Remembering Who We Are 

Singing and Praying:

Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know. Be still. Be.

I am the Lord that healeth thee. I am the Lord that healeth thee.

Born a beloved child of God

Before I even knew so

Before I was even thought of

Before the foundations of the world

I, a baby girl, just above the toddling age

Sank my bare tippy toes in deep plush red carpets, I stepped my feet on deep plush

Red carpets and step by step passed ornate thrones and seats of gold and crimson.

I dragged the plushness of my yellow and gold calico baby blanket down the aisle

Stepping on deep red carpets and the harps played and trumpets sounded

As I stepped up one, two, three

To the Throne of Grace

And all glory shone from the seat of the throne And I climbed up on the lap of the

Creator

And God whispered in my ear…

God said,

Before you are born,

Know that I know you

Before I put you in the womb

Know that I have set you apart

I appoint you as a prophet to the nations

God said,

Fear not for I have redeemed you I have called you by name

You are mine.

When you pass through the waters

I will be with you

When you walk through fire you will not be burned.

At times you will forget,

But it is me who knit you together in your mother’s womb, At times you will forget,

But you are fear-fully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are my works.

Know that full well.

Born a beloved child of God

Before you even knew so

Before you were even thought of

Before the foundations of the world

You, a baby boy, a baby girl, just above the toddling age Sank your bare tippy toes in deep plush red carpets, You stepped your feet on deep plush

Red carpets and step by step passed ornate thrones and seats of gold and crimson.

You dragged the plushness, your favorite baby blanket down the aisle.

Stepping on deep red carpets and the harps played and trumpets sounded

As you stepped up one, two, three

To the Throne of Grace

And all glory shone from the seat of the throne As you climbed up on the lap of the Creator And God whispered in your ear…

Remember? Remember? Remember?

Remember.

This is Remembering Who We Are.

  • LaDonna Sanders Nkosi

    Rev. Dr. LaDonna Sanders Nkosi is a global poet, author and founder of Africa Exhale and Ubuntu Global Retreats, launching in 2024. She speaks widely online and in person through conference preaching, teaching and poetry. She is founder of the Gathering Global Network, and she loves mentoring, providing counsel and hosting retreats for leaders. For speaking, booking, retreats and inquiries, contact [email protected]. 🌍Connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/revladonnankosi/

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