It's has arrived. I am on my way to the airport to get on a 17 hour flight to Kenya and I am continually in awe of what happened the past 5 months since leaving a full time job to pursue a call overseas. I have never subscribed to a blog nor kept my own in the past so finding the words to share prior to boarding the plane to head across the world is a great endeavor in its self. With much to share and celebrate as am still processing, thank you in advance for baring with me as I find articulation to these workings. An invitation, an RSVP, intertwined with months of patience, prayer and also some fun! Wow, To God be the glory or as they would say in Swahli, God is good, all the time. 'Mungu ni mwema, Kila Siku.' I am 90% confident I got that one right. On that note, I am very slowly but surely catching on to this new language and I am happy to say I have a few common greetings and phrases down. I am finding it is such a beautiful language however, when an American walks around speaking it with little to no accent, well that becomes a little different story. The truth is, I believe like many other areas of life, we learn through experience and as the next few months will be, the experience is where the learning and growth is found. I'll have to deal with that when I get there. Despite keeping busy in the details of what goes into preparing for a trip such as this, I have enjoyed every moment of partnering with the Lord and watching Him lead and pave the way, His way. I have confidence that obedience is where understanding is established, which the past 6 months provided to be the perfect table to taste and know this in a new way. I am grateful for this.
Over the past months up to this point I would be dishonest if I didn’t say there have been challenging moments, as well as periods that I felt like I was hanging by a thread. But I rest assured and continue to find meaning in the unexpected. Blind faith at times but never a doubt the is the road to travel. In the midst, I had been asked numerous times by friends, family as well as friendly people I meet in the town who I have the opportunity to share my testimony with, who ask the question if I am nervous, scared or anxious. It was almost as if I should be waiting for something to "kick in" and there will be a time where I should question that which I am embarking; which I know some of my family were hoping I would consider and change my mind but to be honest, I love these moments and the opportunity they carry. After a few times I began to question why I was not having these emotions attached to this next season and step. You see, I have come to trust and realize since, I don’t NEED to have one of these “kick in” moments. I have been freed to walk in freedom, chainless, no longer bound to fear and move forward with confidence. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 These were not feelings that belonged to me. If my desires line up with God’s I have no need to fear. Any “shock” of what I am doing was not mine to receive. After all, I have confidence if you have a peace that surpasses understanding and you know you trust the one who has sent and goes before you, I don’t think anxiety can exist! After all that is an earthly emotion and in Heaven that is not found. It's all over the word of God, fear and faith do not make their abode as one. So I continue to choose wonder over worry, joy, excitement over anxiety, anticipation, curiosity, trust and hope that the one who created it, will sustain it.
There is a gracious uncertainty that comes with living in the kingdom that goes against our natural instinct to know every detail and be so precise, always knowing what will come next. We can have a 5 year plan, however I risk it being a man made plan and one that robs me of the pleasure of walking in the promise of the present. The nature of the kingdom is different, and here I have permission to be certain in my uncertainty. Oswald Chambers explains this quite well in one of his devotions I enjoy, but basically he portrays a great truth; we think we need to reach a predetermined goal, however when we live in such a way, we place our trust in our own strength and preconceived ideas, circumstances and others while quenching the Spirit who actually really wants to be our guide rather then allow us to choose to limit the God who wants to be intimate, journey and grow with us and be our faithful friend. We say no thank you to a companion who is sovereign and Lord to who wants us to be able to enjoy Him while glorifying Him, in awe of who He wants to be for us while too discovering our identity in HIM! Step by step, day by day, prayer by prayer. Often easier said then done in the moment, although shown there is no doubt it is offered and I personally wouldn’t strive to have it any other way.
The past few months I have heard God whisper this question; the question of "Who do you say that I am?” This has been a repeated theme for the past year and magnified the past 5 months while watching the frame work of my time in Africa come about and in focus. Through the journey to reach the terminal, there have been trials, tribulations, great amounts of patience required, silence, stretching as well as letting go. The daily intentional neglect and applied displine to stay on course can be tiring at times.through these days this, I would hear my Father whisper, “Who do you say I am.” In this moment, all potential anxiety, nerves, questions, anticipations begain to fade. I don’t think our destiny voyage and life will always be a smooth sail through the sea and over oceans but I do rest assured and confident that the bible is clear time and time again pointing us to the reassurance we have when our hope is in Christ and the invitation to ride the wave of life with him. When we cling to His promises and design of walking in the framework that was set before, we then can walk knowing that He is the Great I AM, the Way, The Truth and The Life. With this solid anchor and rock before me to grasp in an always changing and shifting world, the reality is, there is nothing I would rather be doing with my life in this moment than this and here on this great wave.
As I go and say my see you laters to friends and family, I am reminded of my role as a Christ follower, which is primarily to love God and love others. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” -1 John 4:11 With this at the fore front, I don't go to Africa to fix, change or help anyone. I go because I believe that what the Bible says is truth for me to follow and after receiving the love and healing physical, emotionally and spiritually I have through Christ, my only respose is to follow Him and His word with all of my heart and life, walking in the greatest power to exist, the love of Christ. As I step into a new country and continent at that, EVERYTHING will be new. I'm assured that my biggest role is more getting out of the way, listening, stay willing to learn and with delight, let go and let God; the one who is able, and one who is already at work in the lives and communities I will visit. With gracious uncertainty in mind, I move forward certain not in I but rather in the one who sends me. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2:10
Blessings and abundant thanks to all the encouragers and prayer warriors as well as faithful supports who have partnered with me in this step in my destiny and love our brothers and sisters in Africa. I carry your sweet love and blessings with me, only to be poured right back out. Until the next Blog makes it up, thank you in advance for your prayers!!!!
Please continue to follow this journey over the next few months as my team and I touch down in Africa May 10th.
Travel mercies flying to Amsterdam and to Nairobi, Kenya as well as drive to Nyahururu where we will be staying 2 weeks. (Current weather conditions and forecast are stormy and wet!)
Rest, health and unity for the LPC team who I will be partnered with the first 2 weeks.
Divine appointments and wisdom along the way.
God's perfect peace and to be accomplished in the 2 weeks that will be filled with medical outreaches, VBS, church dedications, teachings, school visits for special needs and disabled kiddos and more.
Over all, uncover blessings and growth in the relationship building opportunities the team and local community/ villages will have.