Today was my last Sunday to worship, preach and teach in my own congregation before heading off half-way across the world. The plane leaves Thursday night and while I have travelled from Dulles Airport to Europe many a times to see my family, this trip is a little different. This year, my family visit is just a stop-over as Randy and I head to Africa and friendship and partnership and lots of mission work. For that I crave everyone’s prayers because I can’t deny that I am a little anxious and uncertain about this continent that I want to experience with all my heart but never have. We have so many friends in Tanzania, family really. And I know they they will watch over us and protect us as best as they can. And even more importantly, everything truly is always in God’s hands.
I have said so many times that if there was ever a reason for me to go to Africa it would be to see my brother Kumbuka, aka Pastor Mwasanguti and his wife Veronica and his children. Now I have to add Pastor Amani Mwaijande to that circle of family because for a year and a half he was known as our middle son. I am looking forward to sitting at their table instead of mine so that the circle will be closed. I want to be in Veronica and Blandina’s kitchen (Amani’s wife) and see what they do to prepare dinner. I want to ask woman questions. I want to know what makes life work in their world.
Last night Randy worshipped at Tree-of-Life Lutheran and they prayed for us during the announcement time calling us “missionaries.” I love that even though I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. This morning, at my church, my member Ken spoke up during prayer time to pray for a safe and fruitful journey. At Slate Hill Mennonite today, Randy and I were held up in prayer. I have craved that kind of prayer since the journey took shape.
I have craved all of your prayers. Your good thoughts! Your willingness to ask God to send us in mission and to bring us back in one piece. To protect our backsides while we are on the way so that we can be present to our grandchildren into the future. To give us peace of mind. To make me preach good sermons and have Randy inspire just about everybody, which he usually does.
Am I ready-Hell no! But I throw myself into God’s grace and your prayers and go. I believe that this journey was God-called. It will be enough.