Saturday, July 6, 2013

He goes before us.

June 20, Thursday

We are finally en route to Africa.  Our plane didn't leave until after six in the evening, which made for a full day of anticipation and excitement.  The sweetest thing was that Rebecca and Ali showed up at the airport to wait with me and see me off.  Ali kept tearing up whenever she remembered that it was nearly time for me to leave.  Rebecca gave me a journal so I could keep record of what I learn and experience on this journey.  I will be using it daily.

A dust storm was raging as we left my hometown.  The sky was brown and heavy.  I will not mind leaving the windy Texas Panhandle for a couple of weeks for a greener and prettier change in scenery!

The flight to Dallas was maybe thirty minutes long.  Our team of eight (me, Naana, Larry, Milt, Audie, Travis, Jim, and Cassie) met up with twenty more, making for the biggest CRF team yet!  We had dinner at a Mexican food restaurant in the Dallas airport.  Tex-Mex is by far my favorite food, so I was glad it could be our last American meal.

At one point, the manager approached us and asked where we were headed.  We told him Kenya and he said, "My sister is on a mission trip to Kenya right now, actually.  I know y'all will do great things."  When we left the restaurant, he said, "God bless you."  It was a powerful thing for a stranger to encourage us in this way and be bold in his own faith.  What a great way to start out this journey.

We boarded the plane for London, which was an eight hour flight and long.  I dozed and woke and dozed and woke and watched The Blind Side to help pass the time.  I had some conversation with an elderly woman sitting next to me who loved Jesus. 

On our first day of this trip, not a lot has been done (how could there be?), but I am continually struck by the way the Lord has provided for us, even just to get this far.  I continue to hear stories about how this person raised all of the money for her trip in three weeks, this one in six, and so on.  God has fully enabled each of us to go to Kenya this summer; He will continue to provide!  Everyone we have met has been kind and encouraging.  Our team is bonding, step-by-step.  Some of us are old friends and some are new, but we are all tied together by a mutual love for Jesus and by His heart for the nations.

Since I have spent more than nine hours in a plane already today, I have had the opportunity to think and pray.  I have been asking the Lord to give me more of His heart.  When I hit the ground in Kenya, I do not want to see anything with my own selfish eyes and my limited American perspective.  I want to see every person I meet through God's eyes and with His love.  His Spirit is working in my heart.

Christ's unfailing, relentless love is so much more powerful than my own broken reflection of Him.  His hands reach so much farther than mine ever will.  His voice changes hearts.  His footsteps go places I could never go alone.  So I am asking for all of these things: His heart, His hands, His voice, His feet, His love.  And He delights to give them.

Another thing that has been laid on my heart over and over again the last few weeks, what I'm seeing in the Word and through conversation from friends, is that God has already gone before me into Kenya and He follows behind.  There is no need for fear and no need for pride, because I serve a God who is in control and whose purpose and righteous right hand are working far beyond my own small efforts.  I am only an instrument in the hands of a perfect Creator.

Finally, I would like to focus on stories.  I don't want to go into Kenya with the mindset of, "Oh, these poor, hopeless children."  No, I want to enter this country and love with abandon, viewing each person with the mindset of, "This is a child of God."  I want to hear their stories for what they are, see God working in each life, and view every individual as so much more than the sad statistics Americans enjoy using to make themselves appreciate their own prosperity. 

God is moving powerfully in Kenya.

On this trip, I know I will see hope.

Four years ago: I'm a mzungu.
Two years ago: Levitating Photos
One year ago: Summer Nights

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