Well, the journey has begun! My mission team and I are off on a grand adventure for the next 6 months traveling from South Africa to Lesotho, and Namibia. We made it through training, through each airport without leaving someone behind (PTSD flash backs the ENTIRE 30+ hours of people not screenshooting covid test results, false positives, and flagged citizenship), we all made it through each airport, made it to each gate on time, and made it to South Africa without a hitch. I’ll be honest…the moment we landed, walked through customs and I saw our in country missionaries again, it felt like I had never left. Driving from the airport back to our house, seeing familiar street signs, faces, and breathing in the clean South African air, I’m not going to lie, it felt like I had arrived in my home away from home.
To see the look on my team’s face as they drove through town, asking many of the same questions I did when my team first landed, guiding them through the different areas we drove through, brought a sweet joy to my soul as they are about to embark on a journey they will never forget and will walk away forever changed.
As we got settled into our host home where we are staying for the time being, we kicked off this journey with worldview training to help our team start grasping the culture they are stepping into. Africa is a culture unlike any other. Africa is demonized as the poorest continent in the world, yet it is the richest continent in natural resources (Chika Onyeani, African Sun Times). Believed to be cursed based on the Curse of Ham in Genesis 9, but it wasn’t Ham who was cursed. Noah cursed Canann, yet this continent stays believing they are cursed. Fast forward to Galatians 3:13-14, “ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”
A darkness and spiritual worldview that encapsulates the mindset of many, but it is the hope of Christ that comes in and changes the liberation that happens externally and brings freedom internally. It is the hope that we desire to bring throughout our time here. In many ways we do missions, we destroy dignity, because we believe it lies in the work, when in reality it’s in the relationship. Our call, to go and make disciples and if necessary, use words. If you can make a difference in ONE life, you can change the continent not by what we can do for someone, but through the relationships we build, the conversations that have yet to be had, and the words of faith waiting to be discussed. A gospel message brought back to the simplicity of Jesus’ ministry. To spend time with His people, to meet them where they are at, to love them recklessly, and open the door to a new start, a new chance, a new hope that can be grasped, and a new life walking in faith.
The last few days I have been sick in bed. Don’t worry it’s NOT Covid. I caught a stomach bug and I am happy to say I am finally on the other side of it, just waiting to make sure I am okay to be around others. During this time I have been spending a lot of time alone in my room. I’ll be honest this time to myself has been much needed even if it was under rough circumstances. It allowed me to slow down, spend some extra time with the Lord, get sorted, and simply allow my body to rest and heal. On the other hand, as much as it was physical, it was also spiritual. To be isolated, yearning to be better, striving in my faith, wondering why this would happen now, feeling as if I couldn’t do this anymore. Maybe I had bit off more than I can chew and should just pack it up and come home….the thoughts that tormented my mind and my sleep, but then God. Reminding me that I cannot do this without Him. To not only hear His voice, but to listen, and heed His words. To BE OPEN to what He has next and trust that He is going to do more than I ever could have imagined.
I have the honor and privilege of leading 13 incredible individuals who have a heart for the Lord and desire to seek after what He has in store for them. This road they have chosen is not easy as they will be challenged to step out in faith and outside of their comfort zone, to follow wherever it is God is calling them to next.
I don’t know what to expect over these next 6 months, but I know that as long as I give God everything I am, He is going to give me everything He has.
As it says in Esther 4:14, “ If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”’
One thought on “An Unplanned Start”
Happy to hear you’re on the mend. Maybe God needed to get your attention about a few things, and this was His way of slowing you down. May your team, and those you’re ministering to, see Jesus in you. God bless. Continued prayers.