For such a time as this…

Two weeks from today, a journey takes me to flight…Seattle-Detroit-Amsterdam-Nairobi-Mombasa.  I’m busy with shopping, packing, checking my list, planning, prioritizing, ordering Kenyan schillings, and watching for emails from Michelle, our liaison and team member.  When I take a minute to sit and be quiet, I come to tears at the thought that this is actually happening.  That I get to be a messenger for God, that I get to be on this team that He has assembled, that I get to put my feet into the “end of the earth” soil, that I get to witness Him in action as He transforms lives, that I get to be honored, lowly me, for such a time as this.  It’s beyond what I can comprehend and the tears well up from my humble heart.

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We will be in Mariakani, about an hour outside of Mombasa, staying in an apartment.  “It’s primitive” was the answer we received when we asked about electricity, debit cards, computer access.  There is no refrigeration….and I am so ready for this.  Because.  It’s not about the computer access.  It’s about the access to God…which is readily available.  It’s not about electricity.   It’s about what happens when the “light” goes on in someone’s heart as God enters that person’s life.  It’s not about refrigeration.  It’s about the warmth that is always available through Christ.  It’s not about debit cards.   It’s about the debit side of our accounts that have been paid for us through His son.  Yes, we will be in a remote area; however, we will not be disadvantaged, even “remotely”.  Where we are going in Africa is “primitive”.  Where we are going in HIM, is anything but primitive.

LIFE International is sending this team of five to Kenya.  There will be six days of training…three on abstinence and three on abortion-recovery and how to talk with an abortion-minded person.  Please pray with us as three leaders train church leaders to lead others.  LIFE International is out of Grand Rapids MI and their mission is to multiply life-giving ministries around the world where abortions are performed.  With over 40 million abortions performed each year around the globe, think of this as the most unreached people group.  This is the language of LIFE International.  http://www.lifeinternational.com

Our host is Bramuel Musya, CEO of Straight Path Resources, and also known as the African Story Teller.  Just to be in his audience, is going to be life changing.   http://www.bramuelmusya.org.

Just to be traveling with this team is going to be pivotal and momentous.  My role as journalist will be to capture the moment/s as they happen during the six days of training on the sanctity of human life.  Truly a mission.  Truly an honor.  Truly about love.  Truly about changed hearts.  Truly about what’s possible when we allow Jesus to rule our hearts.

Two weeks from today….

God is my new boss

Something happened when I turned my life over to God. I don’t remember the day, but I do remember the conversation. “Okay God, take my life, my thoughts, my heart, my all. I’ll do whatever you say. I’ll go wherever you send me. However I can serve you Lord.” That began a quiet journey of paying attention, studying, waiting and getting ready. At that time, it was just between me and God. I surrendered. Totally.

Today, flights are confirmed, tickets are purchased, immunizations are complete, and plans are underway for my first short-term missions trip….to Kenya. Actually, it’s not my trip. It’s God’s trip and I’m going with Him. God is my new boss….and He’s called me out of retirement. Actually, He never calls us to retirement. He calls us to be productive our whole lives. So, it’s with a humble heart that I get to go to work…what an awesome honor to go to work for my new boss. And I didn’t even have to apply or interview. He already knew all about me. When I was filling out the application to become an International Training Specialist with LIFE International over two years ago, I could see how God had been training me all along. It was eye opening. OH! That’s why I had foreign exchange students living with me. OH! That’s why I flew for the airlines for Pan Am and Northwest Orient, visiting different cultures and lands. OH! That’s why I took that test to learn that my strengths were centered around compassion and teaching. OH! That’s why I had recently spent a month in India. Hmmmm….it was a course in LIFE….and God was my instructor all along. Little did I know at the time that I was “in training” for His greater purposes.

Now that I’ve “signed on”, it seems so simple. It’s kind of like this….an apple tree doesn’t struggle to grow apples, it only struggles when it tries to grow a pear. All those times of struggling, of “trying” to fit in, of wondering where I belong, of forging my own path, could have been simplified had I just surrendered long ago. For some reason, though, I didn’t accept Jesus into my life until I was fifty-two….on February 2, 2000…and I didn’t fully surrender for another eight years. There was a lot of bitterness that had to be worked through. There was a lot of learning that had to happen on the heart level. It was an “inside job”. God is the master of “inside jobs”….He wanted my heart and He worked hard and waited a long time to receive it. Today, He has my heart, simply and completely. I love my new boss. And He loves me. It’s not usually okay to fall in love with your boss…but in this case, it’s essential!

Today, my outlook, my overview, my environment, my platform, my life is different. It’s all forward thinking, forward moving, forward bound. Here’s an analogy. I purchased a new laptop recently and had to call the tech support office to assist me with set up. I gave the technician “remote access” to my computer and as I sat back and watched her move the cursor around to accomplish the tasks, I loved it! She had just taken total control of my whole computer and it was so simple! As I sat and watched, for many hours, I was reminded that this is how God is working in my life too. Just take total control of my whole life, God. I’ll just submit and watch you perform miracles in my life and in the lives of those around me. Here’s an example….I am currently co-leading the Forgiven and Set Free Bible Study for post-abortive women. A friend of mine summed it up beautifully….”we have been invited to have a front row seat to watch and help foster the transformation that happens when people allow Jesus to rule their hearts”. It’s not me…it’s God…who works in the lives of His people. The Bible is FULL of these stories. I get to be His assistant, His student, His trainee. I get to be on His staff, in His Department, in His company, in His organization, in His forward-moving enterprise.

This new job is the best job I’ve ever had….and my new boss is the best boss I could ever imagine. Thank you Lord for hiring me, for training me, for preparing me to be in your service. I accept. I obey. I submit.

For Greater Good

It’s 61 degrees in Nairobi right now….it’s 7:45 p.m Monday evening…and cloudy and overcast.  My mind is in Nairobi getting ready to go to Mombasa….where it is 75 degrees and overcast as well.

The five-member team met this morning via Skype and phone and this was my first meeting with them.  It was 6:30 a.m. PDT here in Richland and 4:30 p.m. in Nairobi.  Our host was on the call, as well as the four other team members and another staff member from LIFE International.  Just to hear their voices was humbling to know that this team is “connected” and meeting and working toward God’s greater good. 

Coming from a background in corporate America, where I served mostly in a support role, or client services manager, I didn’t have people working under me, nor did I supervise others, or manage a department.

My first job out of the corporate world was with Goodwill Industries in Tacoma, serving as Exec. Assistant.  I was struck by the vast difference between corporate America and this, my first job, in the not-for-profit industry.  The “mission” made all the difference.  And what a difference it was.  The people at Goodwill are all working for the greater good of people, citizens, members of life, the disadvantaged and the disabled.  People come in disadvantaged, and leave advantaged.  They come in disabled, and leave abled.  It was striking to be in the environment, still in a support role, but working toward a greater good, a greater mission, a greater purpose, with a greater goal:  for people to become employed.

I hadn’t even started working for Goodwill yet, when someone said to me, “Oh, Goodwill!  They made my brother feel normal!!”  At that time, I knew this organization called Goodwill was blessing the lives of others.

This morning as I sat in on the meeting to discuss the planning, the intended outcomes, the participants, the training, etc., I was again struck by the overriding, underlying, all consuming “mission” of LIFE International and God’s intended outcomes for His people, His children, His work in the world. Still in a support role, there was a major difference in my heart that was felt while I was listening to the trainers and leaders as they continue doing His work. To be part of this journey is just too exciting. I noticed my heart was pumping a little faster, my pulse was noticeably beating at a higher rate and this all happened 30 minutes before the scheduled call! I always know that when I get that little bit of blood pumping and excitement, it’s a good bit of impetus to keep going in that same direction….God is on the move. And I know I am on the right track when I’m going where He is going.

As I was praying before the call this morning, I asked God specifically for His intended outcome. The message I received was “open hearts”. The word “open” can be used an adjective or a verb. In this case, I believe He wants to do both. He wants to “open” hearts, so that hearts may remain “open”. My favorite verse in the Bible is Ezekiel 36:26. “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” He wants our hearts to be alive, fleshy, pumping, vibrant, excited, growing, expanding, jumping around in our chests! This is for His greater good.

Our destination in September is Mombasa; however, the greater destination will always be love. Thank you for joining me on this journey toward love. Please visit http://www.LIFEInternational.com for more information on this amazing organization.