The anticipation is huge in our home. When do we get passports, Daddy? Mom, did Dad mention anything new yet? Are we really going? What will I do there?" "Did you get the tickets, yet?!? Come on, can't we tell anyone? So many questions, and so many of the same answers: "All in good time. God will provide. We'll see what happens. I'm not sure yet what you'll be doing." And then finally, the week of Christmas: Yes, you can tell people now. Then on January 1st, we bought the tickets.
My family, and one of my best friends (Kat), is going to Africa.
Yes, you read that right. We are going to Africa. I am going to Africa. It all seemed like such a hazy thing; far off in the future. But we have our passports, we bought our tickets. We have suitcases, we are making plans. We are praying and trusting God.
Yesterday morning as I laid in bed, I thought about how different life would be in six months. I got up and prayed, then started school, but I could think of anything but Tanzania. I wondered how the ladies dressed, what the scenery was like, how the singing sounds, and what kind of dancing they do. So I gave up on the school and went to Google, and Pinterest. I searched these things, plus I read my Dad's accounts of his past trips. I soaked it all up like a dry sponge soaks up water. I learned how to tie an African head wrap and had fun 'ooooing' and 'awwing' over the simple beauty of the land and people. In my head it played over and over I'm going to Africa. I never wanted to go there. Why is God sending me? Well, it's my family, but I'm part of it. But I'm so excited to be apart of this also. I have many questions, but in the end I simply have to trust my Savior and Maker. After all, He has the pen to write my life story and I am just the main character of the story living the life that that pen writes. It doesn't make me any more special than my sister who is called to be in college and serve God there. It doesn't make me any more special than you. We are all God's children, but we are all different and have different stories.
Something God has been telling me, over and over, is live in the now. Serve God where I am, with the resources I have, and love the people here. I want to encourage you to do the same. I may be going to Africa, but that does not make me a better missionary for Christ. I was looking at opportunities for missionary nannies, and on the website they also had American missionaries who needed help. It made me realize that we too need missionaries just as much as a remote jungle in South America does. There are people all around us who need the love of Christ, and you can be that love. When we let Jesus in, His love and forgiveness comes too and it is only with that love and forgiveness that we can love others. I guess what I'm trying to get at is, God placed you where you are for a reason. Maybe you are only supposed to live a life of Godly example and work an ordinary life in an ordinary place. Or maybe you are to go to a more remote/exotic place and serve as a more outward missionary. But whatever the place is, just serve God with your whole being. I remember a question I asked God a few months ago that basically went like this: Jesus, what is it YOU want me to do in my life? Where do you want me to be? How do you want me to serve? I just want some answers, God! Please show me... Just moments later the answer came, clear as a cloudless sky, Just follow Me. And it's true, it's as simple as that. Just follow Christ and that is all that matters, the rest will come as it comes.
Serve God. Live today. Love people. Be a Jesus follower.