Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Don't send me to Africa

I remember when I first became aware of missionaries and their work. I thought it was amazing that people could feel the calling of God to go share His good news with people in other lands who had never heard of Him. I did not feel that call.

Usually a missionary would come to our church, talk about their amazing adventures and trials, we would take an offering and sing "Here Am I, Send Me" out of the hymnal. I always remember singing kind of soft because the thought of God asking me to go to Africa scared the living daylights out of me. I didn't want to go to Africa. I didn't want to be sent. I wanted to stay here and support those "other" people.

When my husband and I began supporting Reaching Souls International, for the first time, missions made sense to me. Supporting and training National Missionaries to reach their own people for Christ was brilliant. They have no language barriers, no social issues, they can't be kicked out in times of political unrest and the message will go on. Plus, for a minimal amount of money ($100 a month) they are supported in a middle class lifestyle allowing them to be in full-time ministry. I could support this, I wanted to support this, and I wouldn't have to go to Africa.

Then about a year ago, my life changed. I was working for a great organization, but the demands on my time were excessive. Weekends and evenings on top of 40 hours a week was more than I wanted to continue to do. My alzheimers dad was needing more attention and I wanted more of a life. One day, my husband had lunch with a friend. He told my husband they were looking to fill a position on staff and wanted to know if hubbie was interested. He was not, but only because it didn't fit his skill set. But it did fit mine. The position was at Reaching Souls International. I submitted my resume, did my interviews and soon had a new job. And I still didn't have to go to Africa.

But my heart changed. I started listening to the stories of those who had gone. I started catching the vision and understanding their passion for the lost and dying in Africa. I started doing research and understanding that the average life expectancy in many African nations is 42. 42!! I'm dead already. What if I had never heard? What if no one had come to tell me that God loves me? Jesus died for me?

When did my heart change? When I stepped out and said "Not my will, but yours be done." And then I met Freywell.

Freywell is African and one of our in-country leadership. He is one of the most joyfull people I have ever met. His smile lights up the room. His presence brings joy. Then I met Emmanuel. He's young and on fire for God! Then I met Paul. He's older, wiser and so driven to see his country changed for God.

And I knew, I wanted to go to Africa. Here am I Lord, Send Me. I want to see, to touch, to witness, to sing, to love, to share, to cry and to walk the dirt these people walk.

SO, I'm going. I leave Thursday for Mombasa, Kenya and my prayer is God will so move in and through me, I will never be the same. Send me to Africa, I'm ready to go.



Sherry said...

I might be willing to say "send me anywhere but give me air conditioning and good food and diet coke and all my friends & family and a good bed and . . . " but even that seems awfully risky to me!

Have a good trip Glynis
~ Sherry

Brett and Kelly Burleson said...

This is amazing! Good for you, Glynis!! You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that you will touch many lives...and many lives will touch you. I am very envious...this is something I've always wanted to do, but never had the courage. Very encouraging.

Hope you have a life changing trip!
BTW...I've added you as a link to our blog. Love your writing!!