Africa Journal: Day One/ December 27, 2008

Each member of our team was given a regular composition book to use with dual purpose.  1) to pass around to friends and family members to write encouragement notes in so that we would have them on the field( I had three friends: Johanna, Laurel and Anne all write something for me for every day that I was gone, and several of my family members wrote to me as well), and 2) to use while we were on the field as our own personal journal.  The following are excerpts and thoughts from my journal during our 14 day trip to Africa in January of this year (my actual journal entries will be shown in ITALICS):

Day one:

“…I’m a little bummed out tonight because our flight from Springfield to Detroit was canceled.  Because this flight was canceled, and because there were no open flights tomorrow, we won’t be leaving out until Monday afternoon … boo!

Proverbs 19:6 “In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord directs his steps”

For whatever reason Lord, You are directing our steps, and we put our trust in You.  Father I pray that You make it increasingly clear as to why we didn’t fly out tonight, and what appointments You have for us in the meantime.  Jesus I believe there is a reason why You kept us from leaving tonight, I pray that You would show me who that is. (You’ll find out who that was in a couple days …)

Lord as we ‘officially’ begin our trip today, I pray that You pour out Your blessing over our team.  Calm our hearts and give us peace that You are in charge.  Take our individual desires and our wants and expectations and change them into Your will …”

I remember being SO disappointed at the airport when I heard “Flight #### to Detroit has been canceled” but as the night went on, and after reading that Proverb, I remember just knowing that this WAS God’s plan.  As I began to think on it even more, I remembered that our original departure date was Dec. 29th, and we had only moved it to the 27th because we were able to get the tickets cheaper … BUT God must have wanted us on the original schedule, because now our departure date had been pushed back to the 29th.  There are crazy little lessons to learn in every situation, and as much thought and preparation and work that went into getting things planned the way we thought was best, God pulled the reigns back a little and helped us to remember that He is in charge.

The last thing I wanted to share from this first days entry was something that Johanna had shared with me.  She wrote the following passage of scripture for me:

Isaiah 26:8  ” Yes Lord, walking in the way of your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and Your renown are the desires of our heart.”

This is the theme verse for Passion ministries, and it was at Passion in January of 2007 where I first felt the propmpting of the Holy Spirit to be involved in mission work to Africa.  What a great reminder of how the Lord is at work in our lives, of what He had been doing in my life to prepare me for the trip that I was about to embark upon, and that truly the reason that I was going was to make His name and His renown known among the nations!

Thank you God for how You are at work in and around us!

-E

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