I (Nick) am so excited! I am getting ready to go on my first mission trip. My lovely wife, Sarah, has had the priveldge of going on mission trips as a youth, but when I was growing up, I wasn't involved enough in the church for it to even cross my mind. Until now. Because I get to spend my spring break on a mission trip! I'm going to Uganda (yes - in Africa)!
That is the short version; if you want the details, keep reading. This all started when Sarah was trolling Facebook and catching up on the latest adventures of Courtney Skierra-Vaughn. Courtney, and her huisband Chris, have been living in Africa off and on for the last few years, working on a variety of missionary and humanitarian projects. They were back in the states, and Courtney had been diligently updating Facebook and her blog. Sarah showed me their latest idea - building a boarding school in Uganda. Sarah said that she was thinking about helping out. I somewhat flippantly said that we should go with them - but then I realized that I meant that. We should go. I am going. I will be heading to Uganda with Chris to help with the planning process for the school, and meeting the kids who need the school. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity. I know that God is doing great things in Uganda, and I am honored that He is sending me. Isaiah 6:8, "then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said "Here I am. Send me!"
The boarding school is being built for a specific group of kids. They have names and faces (see below). They have needs. They need a place to live; and they need to learn. But more than that, they need love - real, life-changing, permanent love - the love that can only be found in Jesus. With that Love comes hope, and when they have hope, they have a chance in this life (and after).
Photo credit to Courney Skiera-Vaughn. Thanks!
Sarah's turn again. Warning: When Nick read this post, he said, "Pretty dramatic, don't you think?" Yeah. It is.
I’m afraid. I don’t want to admit it. I want to have all the passion and joy and freedom and love and adventure that it takes to just dive headfirst into this God-driven mission. But really, I am afraid.
Of course, I have fears about all the health and safety stuff that could go wrong with our kids, but I have working on submitting that to God. Those terrifying details are ones I have worked to overcome in my heart and have come to trust in God’s perfect plan for His kingdom. This is a process that will never be complete, I have a feeling.
But what I am afraid of right now is who I will become. I have a feeling I will no longer be “that crunchy mom,” or “that lady who does the games for youth group,” or “the music teacher.” But who will I be in my heart?
I know I will not feel the way I feel or see things they way I see them now. Up until now, my beliefs and values have been pretty steadfast; I feel confident in my convictions and explain them pretty well to others who want to know what I think. But I’m preparing for a total transformation… a transformation I’m maybe not ready for! One thing people sometimes say about me is that I have a confidence that is not found in many women these days. I would tend to agree with that. I like who I am. I like what I am doing in life. I like my husband and my job and my kids and my house and my friends and my whole life. But all of those things are about to change… and I am about to take on something that I don’t understand yet, a culture that I do not know, a people I do not fit in with, a mindset I will need to adopt (at least somewhat) to function. The problem is, I like my mindset!
So, here goes, Take my mind, Lord. I give you my thoughts, my dreams, my goals, my ideals, my priorities, and my values. Transform them. Snuff out the old ideas and light new ones on fire!