Sunday, June 30, 2013

before i go....

inspiration: four days until i'm on a plan bound for africa.

i feel as if i haven't really fully processed what's about to happen.
the thought hit me like four point six seconds ago: i'm really about to do this.

i just got home from my team's final meeting - our packing meeting.
we arrived with our bags (only allowed 25 lbs). we weighed. rearranged stuff, unpacked stuff, repacked stuff. then we filled our bags with candy, bubbles, crayons, books, all sorts of things that we will give to the kids and families while we're there. we packed and weighed some more.

but this is it.
my bags are literally packed for an amazing trip on which i'm about to embark.

it may not fully hit me until i get on that plane.
but i'm about to leave first-world america where my problems consist daily of the interwebs not being fast enough, food not being served to me fast enough, traffic on interstate 526, and the A/C in my car not working to its 100% potential.
i'm about to go into an area where they don't know about computers. they may or may not have enough food for their next meal. they walk every where. they wear the same clothes every day. and they may or may not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at all.

i'm ready for this trip.
i'm ready to see God show up in incredible ways.
but if i'm honest, for a long time, this trip was about me - the experiences i was going to have.
living in the bush.
experiencing life without electricity and technology.
loving on kids.
going on a safari.

but God has slowly been changing my heart.
going on a mission trip to Africa is not another checkbox for me to check off.
this isn't another experience to be had, something for me to cross off my list for my own personal gain.

this trip is about bringing the Gospel to those who may not ever hear it.
this trip is about changing lives for the sake of Christ.
this trip is about gaining brothers and sisters into God's royal family.

before, i was waiting expectantly for this trip to come for my personal gain. so that i could go. not be here. but be somewhere else.
but now, i'm waiting expectantly for this trip so that i can be part of God doing amazing things in Kenya.
i can't wait to meet these people, play with the kids, and bring the Good News to them.
i can't wait to worship with them. laugh with them. rejoice with them.

nothing may go according to our plans.
i'm expecting there to be a lot of bumps in the road (both metaphorically and literally).
but before i go, i'm posturing myself in a position of full surrender to God.
i want Him to use me and my story to change lives.
my suitcases are packed, but in my heart i'm unpacking all the selfish expectations i've carried and i'm emptying myself so that the Holy Spirit can truly move in me and so God may get the glory for everything that happens.

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