Friday, June 7, 2013

A Little Trip to Africa

I'm about to tell you why I'm headed to Africa next month. I've put off writing this blog post because, to be honest, the words aren't flowing easily since I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it.

It started nearly two years ago at the beginning of what turned out to be a 9 month job loss for my husband. God started to doing something very distinct and unexpected in our hearts. He began gently pressing us to look outside of our own comfort zone and our own world. And He was specific. Over and over we were coming across articles, videos, and sermons that focused our vision on the orphan crisis going on over in Africa. That's not to say we hadn't cared before that point in time. We were planning to adopt from that part of the world, so obviously we thought we cared. But that light burden began to turn into a heavy one. The kind that keeps you up a night and has you sobbing and you kneel beside your bed. 

What amazed me the most was that what God was doing in Steven's heart was so in sync with mine. Date night after date night we would compare notes and be blown away that the very specific ways in which God was at work in my husband's heart were identical to how the Lord had privately been at work in mine. It felt like God was further confirming what He was up to by having us be so in step with one another.

Until one day.

Last spring after a quite few months being in this season, Steven called me over to come talk to him. From the tone in his voice, I could tell whatever he wanted to say was important to him: "I think we're supposed to go visit there next year."

Clueless, I asked: "Visit where?"


"Where in Africa?," I inquired, totally caught off guard.

"I dunno' know. I just think we need to go there next year and figure out what God wants us to do with this burden."

My response showed my extremely faith-filled heart: "Seriously? You want us in the middle of an expensive adoption process to up and go 'somewhere' in Africa? I thought we might do this someday, but next year?!"

Knowing my husband wouldn't say something like this lightly, I concluded, "Okay, can I just pray about it? I have no faith for something like that right now."

And so I prayed and he prayed. We talked to one of our pastors who thought we should go for it and I prayed some more. For my birthday, a friend of mine handed me the book Kisses from Katie. Knowing nothing about what the Lord had been up to in my heart she told me, "God told me to give you this."

I started reading; and at one distinct moment a few days into the book, the Lord told me to listen to my husband and take this trip. At that moment the real miracle happened, as I felt this prompting, faith filled my heart. I walked into the room where my husband was and uttered just two words: "I'll go."

In the next two months, as we checked into different options. The doors began to open to go with a wonderful ministry over to the country of Ethiopia. We were thrilled that God was directing us to the birthplace of our next daughter.

That fall was full of a move, the "paper pregnancy" of an adoption process, homeschooling, a busy photography season, and much more. My thoughts were not often on the trip. And by the time January rolled around, doubts resurfaced in my heart. This was crazy! We were trying to pull the money together for our dossier, and I knew I didn't want to touch the money people had donated to our adoption for this trip. None of this made sense. What were people going to think of us? In His Providence, the Spirit had me in Luke 9 one morning. I read in verse 3 how Jesus sent out his twelve disciples saying:

“Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics"

Well, that didn't seem to make too much human sense either. In fact sending people on a mission with no food, luggage, money, or extra clothes seemed downright stupid. But there was Jesus, the one I'm supposed to follow, doing just that.

A girlfriend encouraged me, "I think it would be a problem if your life made sense to the world." 

Bam. Unbelief exposed, faith renewed.

And God provided the money. All of it; without us having to touch our adoption savings. And then he just keeps confirming this trip in small ways. Like the couple we hardly knew who felt they were supposed to give us the big wad of Ethiopian money they had had sitting in their home for a couple years. 

So in mid-July we're jumping on an airplane, sitting tight for 14 hours, and landing in Addis Ababa. The group we're going with will be coming alongside different existing ministries in the area. We truly have no idea what God has in store or how He's going to use this trip to direct our future. But I rest in the fact that I didn't have this trip on my to-do list, but the Lord had it in His plans for us. So if He took care of getting us there, I'm sure He'll take care of the rest.

(And by the way, we'd really, really love your prayers. Please pray for God to show His glory to us and through us.)

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1 comment:

  1. just, wow! I'm thrilled for you and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you guys during this trip!!!! I love how He carefully orchestrated each and every detail. He is so clearly at work sometimes and we just have to step forward in faith. I'm excited for you guys and will be praying!!!


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