Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Africa, Arguments,and Apes Part 1

                                    Africa, Arguments, and Apes  Part 1

  So it's a Saturday. I'm sitting morosely rocking my son. One is sick. Another is grumpy. I'm feeling that way myself. Not much getting done but rocking one. And rocking another. I'm not feeling very energetic about life. My husband comes up from the basement where he had been on the phone.
  He walks into the room and announces, " That was Ray Stutzman."
  Blank stare. "Who's that and what did they want?"
 "Well, they are from the Agape Mission Board and would we consider taking (my brother) Marlin's place in Kenya, Africa?" (Their term is up this fall).
 "Huh?" Is this for real?
  Then come the flood of arguments. One of the first and biggest is the thought. "We could never replace Marlins.They are so far beyond years, maturity, their journey with God...It'd be easier to go somewhere else than to go where they had been and try to fit into their shoes.
 We have so far to go yet. It feels we are still so close to the beginning of our life, with God, in our marriage, in parenting. There are so many, thousands probably that would be far better suited for the job! What if we aren't capable of being all we need to be for the mission?"
 But God whispers, "What if I want this to be part of your journey? What if this is what I want to use to mold you more into My image? Maybe it's not just what you can do for the mission but what I can do for you?"
  But God, I'm so incapable. I'm not that scared of going to another land. It's my own inadequacies, our own ineptitude that I fear. It's not the natives that scare me, it's the other missionaries. (sigh,  I know that's crazy but that's really how I feel.)
 And then there's the language barrier. They want us to take 2 months of studying the Luo language when we'd first arrive. But even then they say, people can be there for 6 years and still not have a good grip on the language....
 It's another morning. I'm working in my kitchen. "Africa" looms big in my mind. I head for the recliner and my devotional time. My heart pleads, "Please God, speak to me ! Show me Something !" I open my devotional book. Today it's on Psalm 34:18. One sentence especially jumps out at me. "God's ability to use broken bread to bless thousands exemplifies His great power with broken things."It was like God was whispering. "You don't have to be perfect to work in my kingdom, to be a missionary."
 The next morning my devotions was on how God uses each part of the Body. "God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked..." Thanks for the encouragement God, I'd most definitely be one of those lacking parts !"
  to be continued....

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