Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Travel Process

This whole voyage has been so peace filled! God has met every single detail abundantly, even the surprises. All throughout my entire trip.. every plane ride, every layover, every person I spoke to, everywhere I went it was as if God had already been there, and he was just waiting for me to arrive. Seeing him before me and everything I did brought even MORE peace than the peace I already had, because I felt him so near me the entire time. There was not one little THOUGHT of fear that overcame me before Jesus broke it off with his words, “Do not fear, I am with you. Do not fear, I am before you. Do not fear, I am with you.”
My flight from Eugene, to Seattle, to San Francisco, to Dubai (the 15 hr one one) and to Entebbe went perfectly smooth and everywhere I walked it was as if I knew exactly where I was going. That right there testifies God’s presence and his spirit with us, because uhh I would be getting lost left and right if I was on my own!! And panicking. And then probably having meltdowns in the airport. But God was WITH me so I was sure and confident every step of the way.
The one and only “mishap” I believe really wasn’t a “mishap”… it just wasn’t in my plans. I journal my relationship with the Lord and everyday I get deep in the word and spend time with just him. Everything he speaks to me, everything I learn, everything I struggle with and every miracle he does gets written on those pages. Me and my sister Val used to always joke that we wanted someone to “steal” our journals because in them is the very gospel, the very nature of Jesus and his interaction with us. It is written and proved in that journal that Jesus is alive and loves us intimately. Well, I had literally JUST finished one up, and on my flight to Dubai, it got “found”. (I would say stolen, but I wouldn’t call it that) I searched high and low with the attendants and after about 15 mins of searching my seat area, I just shrugged to her and said, “Oh well. They were supposed to have it, and they’re better off with it than I am!!” She didn’t get it. Oh well, I felt so happy! I pray that the person who has that journal in their possession will be deeply touched and moved by God’s heart the way I was all throughout it.

I won’t forget the peace and joy I had all throughout this trip and was able to abundantly enjoy thanks to his presence all around me and his protection. The time I most tangibly felt his peace was when I finally took a seat in the waiting area for my bus to arrive in Dubai. My bags were in my possession, my items were with me, my passport was stamped, and the little young woman I didn’t think I could be made her ALL the way through 3 different foreign airports to be right where she belonged. I knew it had been him with me all along. And in that moment, I was overwhelmed with more peace than I’d ever had my whole life. Right there, in an airport in Dubai, with no one else with me, he was near to me like never before.

Arriving at my base was tough… it had never hit me that I was going to Africa until, well, I got there. I just couldn’t believe where I was.. I couldn’t believe what I was doing and what I’d gotten myself into. It was terrifying to finally realize I was so far away from my family and my home and to realize it when I was actually there. But I held fast to God’s peace surpassing everything. I held fast to his promise that he leads us beside quiet waters and that he is our caring and protecting Sheppard, not one that leads us to disaster or things that we cannot handle. I have already been able to meet and get to know a few people on my base. It’s amazing that we really are all in the same boat.. being away from home in such a different culture for 5 months is not easy.. it’s not easy at all. But there’s grace. And there’s so much perseverance, trust and faith built with God in and through our beings every bit of this journey. This is only day one and I am sure and confident of the goodness of God that I have already seen.

Internet at our base will be down until late march but I’ll do my best to keep my trip updated! Love you all and thank for the care and support.

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