The space between. This phrase has always had significance to me and I can imagine can take on various meanings to each reader and individual life journey, however for me has been a constant recurring theme interwoven into the fabric that the past few months have been. I am coming into deeper understanding with each day as it is revealed of what this looks like and means. Let me briefly unpack what this looks like when considering the past few weeks since my last blog/first blog post. I have found that the timeline and "space between" that which we are journeying in or towards can often be a place of great testing, trial, patience and refining, leading to open doors of tasting new levels of life which have yet to be experienced.
The past couple of months have been nothing short of just that. While things have been falling into place as preparing to leave for an extended time, the depths, heights and dwellings that this invitation overseas to Africa has taken me PRIOR to even boarding a plane, has in more aspects than one, shown itself as a daily mission of its own. In the midst of the personal preparing, connecting with ministries across the globe weekly; ( where I am more convinced with each day it is so as I have been told, everything is 'pole pole', (slowly slowly - everything is slow in Africa.) This is true! And I too must go slowly in order to avoid overlooking the sweet details and transforming treasures that are to be collected and found! I don't want to miss the hand of God. And it is through these times of waiting, moments of silence, weeks of prayer and overall through days resting in the place of the already but not yet, which has led to grandeur heights, depths and peaks of freedom beyond my comprehension. These experiences too where the sweetest of love, intention, and sovereign hand of God has continued to breakthrough, revealing all the more the will and fullness of He who is - the greatest of planners and most faithful one. The one who within the past few months of fundraising, attempting to begin to learn another language, planning and with the recent intervention of this past week, I have been left speechless in the most joyous of ways; in wonder at His ways and empowering love shown through His people - the body of Christ. What a tapestry empowering my every step. It is the body who has just blown me out of the water as I continue to enter in and get closer to heading out. I want to thank you to all of you once more who have been a beacon of encouragement and hand of support, partner through prayer and overall represented the body of Christ living and moving together for the kingdom mission at hand.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. - Isaiah 55:8
Less than a month away and I am not shocked at God's time, decisions of direction and provision of blessing; however I am continually blown-away; just filled and in awe by His way of delivery and timely "bombshells" and "plot twists" so to speak… This leads to the most recent update which began as a sudden and unexpected alteration in the seemingly falling into place "plan"; which this too another reminder that plans do not account for much when you are traveling with the one who not only knows best but controls all - God.
As of Tuesday of last week it appeared I would be spending at least 2 months in Jinja, Uganda at a ministry called Ekisa after my time at the LRMI was over. I was really anticipating joining arms with this ministry who have a very heartening and purpose filled vision. While in recent communication, it was found there was a miss communication of open dates for volunteers. This meant my invitation to partner would have to be postponed until the busy season was over. Although not fully expecting a revision this late in process, I was not too shaken and rather had to stop, listen and see what all of this meant in the next steps. Feeling a tug and confidence in my spirit that there was an organization encompassing all areas I had felt called to partner with while out there; from reaching out to those who are abandoned and marginalized, those who are disabled, to working with those who are suffering from malnutrition and added somewhere with a special interest in outreach towards community, family empowerment and development; at 11:00pm after bible study that evening I was at peace it was time for one last search. It may seem as though I was asking a lot for one place to be implementing, however I felt this was sticking to my spirit for a reason and I had to obey its pull. Within the last attempt to find that which was not yet revealed in the previous searches, through great comfort and levels of anticipation, Forever Angels was found and in just days wholly opened their doors to me and was confirmed to be a real place! This calming any question or uncertainty that the organization was too good to be true as well as utilizing itself as another lesson of trusting God's goodness, timing, provision and hand; where He often seems to enjoy doing so through the most timely confirmation of servant-hearted workers on the ground. This generous and unexpected act was and is a HUGE blessing! Sometimes God will simply leave you without words... I think He actually really digs doing this too!
For those who know me well or have been traveling alongside me the past few months more intently know this is the "short version." I will be volunteering at Forever Angels in June. This organization aims to promote general charitable purposes for the benefit of the community of Tanzania in order to address and alleviate social and economic disadvantage to impoverished and HIV positive families and orphaned or abandoned children. The staff at Forever Angels seeks to fulfill, this through various projects and one is a Baby Home in Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria in Tanzania. This is where I will be staying in a guesthouse with a few other volunteers from around the world and spending most of our days caring for, playing with and loving the children while helping the staff and taking part in their community outreach programs. This Baby Home provides a stable, loving home for up to 60 orphaned and abandoned babies and infants from 0 to 5 years, who are severely disadvantaged. It is staffed by trained and dedicated Tanzanian careers and trainees and provides nutrition, love, health care, physical and emotional support until the child is either fostered, adopted, transferred or reunited with their family. I am greatly encouraged by their further methods of outreach not mentioned but future shared and am heartened by their mission which is not only meeting urgent life threatening needs but simultaneously doesn’t undermine the value and worth in empowering personal growth and teachable development through their hands on care.
There is much more to elaborate about this organization and how they position themselves to be the hands and feet in the Mwanza territory of Tanzania, as I too could probably share stories from the compassion filled ministry that The Living Room International flows out of, (which in case you did not catch my first blog, is where I will be for two weeks just before traveling down to Forever Angels.) However I encourage you to visit both ministries websites and read about their mission and the heartbeat for God and others that lays behind it all. Moreover and most of all, I too reason that those stories will be better told once experienced and once I actually come face to face, hand to hand and heart to heart and the story comes alive. Just a few weeks away and I just can't wait to share that which continues to unwind and come into focus with each step on the way to all I believe the Lord has gone before in and has prepared. And as I sit here just under 4 weeks away from departure day, I am reminded and in continual awe of how true it is that every blessing God brings and thing He does is never for just one, but rather for everyone. A relational God of fullness, whose love is to be received, reflected on and kept only long enough to give thanks and spread back out again to all ends of the Earth and across seas; not ours but wholly His to freely give away.
As The Holy Writings say, “No eye has ever seen or no ear has ever heard or no mind has ever thought of the wonderful things God has made ready for those who love Him.” - 1 Corinthians 2:9