Today being the two-year anniversary of the beginning of the "Journey to Botswana," I thought it would be a good time to post this. Here is my "Africa story" for those who haven't heard it and for those who would like to hear it again. The story is a pretty crazy one...well, crazy apart from the Lord. With Him all things are possible, so nothing should really surprise us!
On November 2, 2005 I had no interest in even traveling to Africa, much less living there. But that night when I went to bed, I had a dream that I was living in Africa, working with children. The vision was so real that when I woke up, I couldn't shake it. I had this amazingly strong feeling that I was really supposed to do that. I started researching about different countries in Africa and various mission trips. I told friends and family and received encouragement from them. Every single day I grew more passionate for the African continent.
In early December, I stumbled onto a website of Tree of Life Church in Pflugerville that is pastored by a couple who used to be on staff at a former church of mine. I noticed that they took mission trips to Africa every summer. I had such a peace that this was the trip I was to go on. I contacted them and got signed up for the Botswana trip in June 2006. I had an amazing time preparing for this trip and had no idea what kinds of doors would open in my life because of it.
Needless to say, that two weeks in June changed my life. From the moment I stepped off the airplane in Maun, Botswana, I knew that I was "home". I had such an incredible peace and joy the entire time I was in Botswana. I love the people there, the importance of relationships, and the people's openness to the Lord. I fell in love with the kids; some of them wearing the same outfit day after day, no toys or bed to sleep in, yet running around freely with the hugest smiles on their faces and full of never-ending hugs. Leaving there was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Upon returning to the States, I immediately began praying and seeking how to get back to Botswana. I filled out paper work to work as a missionary at Love Botswana Outreach Mission, where we were for our mission trip. At the beginning of August I was contacted by them with an interest in us going to the next step, which was my going back to Botswana for two weeks in March on a "scouting trip".
During that two week scouting trip, I not only spent time in the international school at the mission (Okavango International School), I also helped deliver food baskets in the community, helped plan and attended a Botswana funeral, volunteered with the children's ministry at All Nations Village Church Maun, and got a taste of missionary life in general by spending time with the missionaries currently serving there.
Since returning home in March, I have begun working on raising financial and prayer support for the two years I will be in Botswana. I have also been keeping in touch with my new Botswana friends, who have offered to help me with my Setswana via e-mail. I have been preparing spiritually by spending a lot of time with the Lord, in His Word, and by getting trained at my church. I have also recently emptied and moved out of my apartment, keeping very few belongings, as I prepare for this new season in my life.
God is amazing....He plants a dream in our hearts that coincides with His will for us, and then He helps that dream come to pass, also filling us with joy and deepening the intimacy in our love relationship with Him. My life is about to completely change in a way I've never known before. Sure I am nervous and question my abilities and adequacy, but I know that God is faithful. I know that when I am weak, He is strong. And I know that He does not call the equipped, but equips the called. I can't wait to see where He takes me and what all He has planned for me. "Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!" 1 Samuel 12:16
You can go to http://www.lovebotswana.org/ for more information on the place I will be working.