Saturday, January 30, 2010

Results of Bequeathment

It has been 3 years ago today that my dad passed away. In more ways than one, he is the reason that I’m in Namibia, but I often wonder if he even knows I’m here. Either way, I can’t wait to tell him ALL about it when I get to heaven too ;-)

Growing up, I remember him spending a great deal of time leading the missions committee at our church. And with that came the lovely task he bequeathed to me of distributing missionary prayer letters to Sunday School classes. I really enjoyed reading about what God was doing in other countries, so I didn’t mind other than being shy about having to go into all the “adult” classes. But I especially enjoyed reading about the Minks (the previous directors of COZV), since they were old family friends--it gave a personal connection to these outside worlds I kept reading about. But at the time there was nothing more than the cool factor of actually knowing them in “real life” and the occasional fleeting thought of maybe I’d go to Africa someday…waaay in the future, when I was old. Well, I guess old is now…because here I am. My Dad spent a lot of time challenging me in a heart towards missions--missions at its heart—that all Christians are missionaries, no matter how near or far God takes them.

The fast track of my journey here though began just a few weeks after his death. Some people had raised money specifically for 10 of the oldest girls at COZV to come to America and sing and share their testimonies in different churches, and mine happened to be one of them. I hadn’t even given Africa a second thought from my prayer letter days until this night. Being still in the shock of what the past 6 months had been in my own life, hearing their stories of how much more they had been through, some even before the age of 5, snapped me quickly back into reality. I know I can never fully understand all they’ve been through (knock on wood), but I was now one small step closer as I dauntingly realized that night that I was now half an orphan. As the night went on, my heart for them grew deeper and deeper. I had a long, snowy, 5 ½ hour drive back to school that night and all these thoughts never stopped spinning in my head. I just remember God saying something like…’Your summer just became wide open, you know they always write in their prayer letters about needing volunteers, and this passion that you suddenly have for these kids is from Me…now GO!’ And, well, the rest is history. I have now spent just over a year with these wonderful kids.

I have no idea where the rest of my life will lead me…whether it will be back home, back here, or even farther around the world. But in the words of my father in a letter he wrote to me just a few months before his death, “I want to see Christ working in me, just an ordinary [girl] with an extraordinary God running [her] life and me genuinely praising Him for it.”

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes the weight of God’s hand on our back is so light it is hard to feel His touch and other times it is so firm it is breathtaking. Your story written here and the photograph that accompanies it are stunning; thanks for sharing.