November 24, 2014

So, about this Africa thing

Some of you may remember about 6 years ago when I was planning to go to Africa.  We were going to go to Ghana with IN Network.  That didn't work out unfortunately, thankfully I was blessed with a very lovely gift instead.  So, while I was disappointed, it all worked out well!

Then in November of 2013 Christina Terpstra came to Community's MLIFE program to talk to us about Beautiful Gate.  My heart just broke.  The stories she has are heart breaking and amazing all at the same time.  Just look at those faces, I dare you!

I knew that I had to go.  It was very clear to me.

And then time went on and my brain started processing all of those scary things, like weird bugs, lions, pit toilets, eating pig intestines (or worse) and I talked myself out of it.  In fact, I remember one evening one of the people organizing the trip through our church said "I heard you were in for Africa?" and I told him "I don't think so, to much crazy stuff for me, way out of my comfort zone".

Ha.  God had that covered too.

Fast forward to November 9.  There was going to be a mission trip meeting at church, right after the service.  I had brushed it off, wasn't going to go, to outside my comfort zone, etc.  Then, Amy (one of my dear friends) asked if I was going, she wanted to go to the meeting too.  So I went.  Just to get information.

We started talking cost and again, I was out.  Holy buckets of cash batman!  Not to mention time on an airplane, time away from the comforts of my home (notice that comfort word coming up again and again?) and my kids and husband.

And then Christina walked in and started talking again.  I felt my heart softening.

She stated that this would be a relational mission trip.  Going and loving kids, helping with day to day routines.  No building houses, no digging wells etc.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not against physical labor, but hey, this sounds way more like me!

She told us that this would not be like going to the African Savannah and seeing Lions, this would be more like going to Colorado (hey, I can do that, we just did that this summer).  Heart softening even more!

Then I asked one of the most important questions of all... "What will we eat and how many granola bars do I need to pack"?  Ready for this... We eat food just like we eat here!  There is one traditional meal served, but hey, granola bars, right!  My heart was melted into a big puddle and I was IN!

Convincing Matt wasn't as easy.  Matt is drawn more toward U.S. needs, as in "There are plenty of needs here in the US, why do you have to travel to Africa?" and "It's so expensive, we could buy Bailey a car with the money it will cost".

I went to bed very discouraged that night.  I prayed hard.  God, please change his heart.  I know this is where you want me to go, but I need him to be on board too.  But God, if he's so against it, is this really where you want me?  Am I missing something?  Am I acting to quickly?

To be continued...

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