Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Going On A Mission
Well, it is official - I have attended the first meeting of the 2010 mission trip to Turkana, Kenya with Seacoast Church. I feel very blessed to be a part of this group. If I were to start going on about what led me to apply for this mission trip, I could go on for hours. Instead, I'll tell you that an awful lot of prayer and discernment went into this decision. My life has changed significantly over the past several months, particularly in the last few. I've never been one to go on and on to people about what God has done in my life. That has changed. I can SEE what God has DONE in my life. I can SEE what God is DOING in my life. I am truly thankful to Him and feel blessed. I want to share that with everyone!
I don't feel like, in the past, God ever really truly "spoke" to me. During the process of praying about this mission, I had several issues that were real challenges for me to consider. I still have those issues. Not the least of which is leaving Peyton for that time period, and being a long way from home when I have a mother who has stage four breast cancer. I know many are asking - How could I think of doing such a thing? How could I leave Peyton? How could I be away from home in case something happens to my mother? Couldn't you wait? Why Kenya? Why you?
The answer is really quite simple - I trust in God with all my heart. If you want to get into the nitty gritty details if that isn't enough: I have a loving and supportive husband. I am not the only parent to Peyton. She has a very capable father. I am surrounded by people who love and support us and who would help in my absence. It's not "forever". I cannot control what happens whether I am here or whether I am on the other side of the world. I have prayed fervently about all the things that "might" happen. I know the reality of what the situation is. I totally understand people's concerns. It took a lot of prayer, as I said, to get to the point of making this decision. It is a decision that was not made lightly.
When I reached the decision to apply for a mission trip, it wasn't "me". It was during a service at church where the pastor's message spoke to me loud and clear. I firmly believe that God was speaking to me directly through this message. I prayed after the message, during our response time in the service, and I prayed hard. I believe that God was leading me to this mission. Looking back, He laid down the framework for what I was about to do. It was not a rash decision that I just made on a whim because I feel like going to Africa. I truly, firmly believe that I was led to this by God as something that I am being called to do. When everything became clear to me, I felt a peace about me that I have NEVER felt before. If you know me, you know my adult life has had many challenges. I even carried baggage from issues I had as a child growing up. I have to tell you that this peace that I felt was a peace about EVERYTHING. It wasn't just the mission trip. I felt at peace with old issues that I've struggled to let go of for years. I felt at peace with the issues I've faced as an adult - particularly the loss of a child who I hold dearly in my heart almost 9 years later. I felt at peace with everything I am going through with Peyton. I never understood people who said how having a special needs child was a blessing to them. I understand that now. I totally understand that. I am at peace with what God has given to us in the form of Peyton. I never would have traded in having her for anything, but now I am at peace with our reality. And I am at peace with my mother's illness. I have spent months dealing with the news of her health and her impending death. I have grieved for months about what will eventually happen. I do not know when that will be. God could call her home while I am away. Or she could be called before - or after my return. I just don't know. Do I want this to happen? Am I so at peace with it that it doesn't bother me? Of course not! Will I grieve after the fact? Absolutely! But I felt a certain peace come over me about her situation that I have not felt up until that point. I suppose the only thing to compare it to would be the peace that comes over the dying person who has accepted and is at peace with what is going to happen. I pray for my mother constantly. I haven't given up on her. I just have a sense of peace about everything that I cannot explain. At the same time the decision was made, I was given a very strong sense that while I would be gone, EVERYTHING was going to be o.k. That, I cannot explain. I just can't. I can't tell you how I know, except that I know everything is going to be o.k. I believe that is a peace that comes from God. I can't explain it any better than that.
So what is next?
Now that the process is moving, the exciting "fundraising" part must begin. In order to finance such a trip, team members must raise a percentage of the cost. I must raise $3,200.00 for this trip. I hope and pray that people will be led to support in some way. Even $5 or $10 will go a long way towards helping to achieve this goal of helping the people of Turkana, Kenya. The people of this region have very little and need help of people like the missions team I am a part of. They need food and water desperately. But they also need Jesus. Seacoast Church is partnering with Bread of Life Missions in Kenya to bring these things to these people. I am excited to be a part of this team and hope and pray that God will see me through this process so I am able to go.
Please check out the following links:
This link will take you directly to the online giving site to donate towards this mission trip. Please be sure to select my name as the person you would prefer to support. Thank you and God bless you for your support. I will pray for you as you pray for me.
This link will take you to the Bread of Life Missions website where you can learn more about what they are doing in Africa. http://www.breadoflifeafrica.com/
Thank you once again for taking the time to read about this mission trip and for your prayers and support. I intend to share with everyone everything I can about this journey so that you can continue to learn about these people and find out what it is that our team is doing to help them.
*photo courtesy of Gary McElveen, Saved In His Image Photography (from 2009 Kenya Mission Trip)