I'd like to be able to tell you that I knew what God had in mind when He pulled one of my threads and knotted me up in Southeast Asia. Did you know that the Philippines is comprised of over 7,000 islands? That is just nuts, right?
My heart is already entrenched in Zimbabwe and filled up with compassion for orphans. I have neither felt a need nor a desire to really go anywhere else. Being a spectator doesn't appeal to me and I lack any desire to travel just to travel. Flying on airplanes is about as enticing to me as playing with wasps. And how could anywhere be better than Franklin, TN? I'm so happy right here on this dirt.
And then there is motion sickness, vertigo, claustrophobia, insomnia, fear of food and a variety of sensory issues. I'm a party in the sky, y'all.
Translation: "Jesus, please don't make me go!"
My genuine desire is to go only where my heart is called and to serve in only the ways God wants me to. So, when my friend David (a missions director) began telling me about the mission projects in the Philippines involving child soldiers and gang members.... I dunno, my heart pounced. The heart pouncing had some conflict with my brain because - well - I really only want to serve in Zimbabwe, because I've established family there and even though separated by half the world, we breathe the same air and we think rhythmically. They are mine and I am theirs - and who needs more than that?
Months flew by but my heart continued to respond to the notion that God might seriously be preparing me to go. For example, David would say something about the Philippines and my intestines would squeal. He'd mention child soldiers and some loud, crazy spirit in the depths of my soul chimed in like a train conductor ... "ALL ABOARD".
I signed up - and then........ waited.
During the waiting period, oddly enough, I barely thought about it. I wasn't excited or nervous. The impending event was logged on my calendar and for the most part it was nothing more than a 9-day period shaded in purple. (Travel).
A few days before the purple week, something kinda crazy happened. In a normal moment during a regular day, I saw a vision of myself sitting in a field with a little boy. I sat up straight and asked God if this was going to happen in the Philippines. I sensed that He was saying yes.
I saw David at church and told him about that vision. David's eyes shifted and a smile came across his face, and he suggested with a sly expression - "welllllllllllllllll, that can be arranged". And well, of course not. We can't go playing with God's will. So, nothing was arranged.
My time in the Philippines didn't involve me sitting with a little boy in a field.
But I met the boy....
(to be continued)