Now that I am only one month away from leaving for Liberia, I find myself reflecting back over this whole journey. I never thought it would actually happen, yet here it is. It’s real. I’m going. In a month. WOW.
I think the desire to go to Africa was sparked in me at some point in my early teen years. I don’t really know how it happened, but it was like one day, it was just simply there. I remember reading a lot, researching a lot. I would see pictures of people, of children, that lived there and feel this longing inside of me to just … help in some way, any way. I started learning what it felt like to have my heart break for them. To this day, I still have that feeling.
Then things started changing. I grew up. Life ended up happening. I experienced the ups & downs & all arounds, the highs, the lows & everything in between. I started to think of Africa as only a dream, something that could never possibly be a reality. In 2007, however, I went through a lot of big changes in my life and, as I was learning to deal with and adjust to all of this, God really started to lay Africa on my heart once more. I started praying that He’d open doors for me. Opportunities arose, and I thought I was going to go (twice) but never made it. Disappointment and confusion set in, and I started wondering if I had been wrong about the whole thing.
Yet I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. I’ve often heard people describe God’s calling as a fire inside of them that just would not stop burning. That’s what it was like for me. It literally kept me up at night. In mid-2008, I started praying for that open door again … and then Andrew came to mind. After more prayer, more thought, I decided to ask him what he thought about me coming to Liberia. The idea was tossed around a few times before it was finalized. Here it was. This was it.
So I started planning. Donation letters went out. Fundraising began. People joined together with me, praying in one accord that God would provide for this trip. He definitely moved in a mighty way. He moved … and moved … and moved. Though it wasn’t always smooth sailing, and I most definitely second-guessed myself (more than once, might I add), I had a peace about it all. I just knew that God wouldn’t call me to do something & then decide to leave me hanging. Then on September 30, I received an anonymous donation that was theexact amount needed to purchase my plane tickets. It was nothing other than God.
I know I owe so many people so many thank-yous from the very bottom of my heart.
To everyone who prayed, everyone who encouraged me, everyone who gave, everyone who sacrificed, everyone who supported me, everyone who spread the word, everyone who gave me advice, everyone who helped – I want you to know that I’m so much more grateful than you could ever know.