Monday, May 30, 2011

We Hear You Lord - Loud & Clear

"For we are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do." 
 Ephesians 2:10

I mentioned a while back that God is calling us to Africa.  It all started after I returned from Ecuador last October.  I want to share with you how God has been confirming His call recently.

Let's start with Sunday May 22.

After church, I was talking with my sister Nicole while our children played on the playground.  I asked her if she was having lunch with Mom.  They didn't have any plans yet so she called Mom.  We all decided to meet at Golden Corral. 

When we got to the restaurant & were seated, Faith said to me, "Mom, look at that man's shirt."  I turned around to see what she was talking about.  There was a man sitting at a table behind us wearing this shirt...

I said, "Do you think he will let me take a picture of his shirt?" 

"Sure Mom."

So, I grabbed my camera and headed over to ask him.  (I almost took my camera out of my purse that morning & left it at home. But I had a very strong feeling I would regret that decision later - only God!)

There were 6 people sitting at the man's table all engaged in conversation until I interrupted them.  I told the man that God was calling my family to Africa, and I wondered if he would let me take a picture of his shirt. He looked at me and laughed.  Then he said, "We need to talk!" 

Everyone at that table was a missionary with ties to Africa!!!   Lee, the man with the Africa shirt on, and his family are currently living in Ghana (West Africa.)  He is the director of HCJB Global in Sub-Saharan Africa.  You may have heard HCJB Global - "Beyond the Call" on Christian Radio. 

Also at the table:  Lee's father-in-law & mother-in-law (missionaries);  Lee's sister; and Lee's parents (missionaries with SIM)  Lee's parents went to Africa on mission when Lee's sister was only 9 months old!!!  I was quite overwhelmed so in awe as you can imagine but if I remember correctly, I think Lee's parents stayed in Africa 30+ years!!!  *Lee's wife and 2 children were not with him.  They were in Africa. 

We exchanged names, e-mails, etc. Then, before I left, Lee's mom took off her necklace and gave it to me saying, "This is from Kenya and now you have a little piece of Kenya with you until you can get there!" 

I was overcome with emotion then and I'm overcome with emotion now as I type this!  Overwhelming!

Apparently, I talked with Lee and his family for awhile.  Quite awhile.  Let's just say by the time I left their table, the rest of my family was already eating dessert!

After we got home, I was processing everything that happened, and God reminded me of something.  Lee is based in Ghana.  I had just finished reading a Christian fiction book that out of the blue mentioned that a minor character in the book had a family member in Ghana. 

Oh yeah, I had also just gone to see Thelma Wells at my mom's church with my mom and my sister.

At the end of her teaching, Thelma talked about the importance of helping others and showed a video clip of herself in Ghana with World Vision!!!

God speaks in so many ways - big and small!

On Wednesday, I went to my chiropractor.  His office has an open floor plan and everyone is pretty much all together.  The lady in front of me was almost finished getting her adjustment when I heard her say to Dr. Frank, "I got all of my shots for Tanzania yesterday." 

I immediately jumped into the conversation because Tanzania is in Africa!  The lady's name is Sandra, and she's going to Africa for 2 weeks on June 21 to work with a missionary.  A few years ago, she went to Zimbabwe.  She said she has had a heart for Africa since she was 17! 

Please pray for Sandra and her team.  They will be teaching music to children and local leaders, as well as meeting other needs.

Then, Dr. Frank said, "Did you see that gentleman that just left?  He is a Lutheran pastor, and he's been to Uganda recently!  And the youth pastor at Northside Baptist and his young family have been called to Africa too!"

WOW!  Speechless!

I scheduled my next appointment with Dr. Frank when Sandra should be there too - after her trip.  I asked her to bring pictures.

After I left the chiropractor's office, I was heading to work when I saw this sign for the first time...

That would be Africa in the middle and that's why it caught my eye! I will be checking to see what this ministry is all about.

On Thursday after the bird pooh incident, I checked the mail on my way to Wal-Mart and found a package

from Lee's mom - the same sweet lady who gave me her necklace from Kenya.  Look at what she sent me

I cried when I opened it!  So very, very thoughtful!  

Lee is now back in Ghana and we have been exchanging e-mails.  He is willing to help my husband and I make contacts in Africa.   Overwhelming!

On Friday morning as soon as I got in the car, a Compassion International radio segment came on.  It was a question from a young girl in Uganda.  She asked why she only had one parent.  Wes Stafford, the founder of Compassion International, answered by saying that she actually does have 2 parents because God is her father, her Heavenly Father.

Shortly after that, Go M.A.D. (Go Make A Difference) had a radio segment about working with prisoners/guards in Rwanda.

Then, the Steven Curtis Chapman song "Yours" came on the radio.  I've heard this song numerous times and was very familiar with the part that says, "Every child in Africa is Yours."  But, God opened my ears this time and had me pay close attention to all of the words.  That's when I heard this
"I walk the dirt roads of Uganda
I see the scars that war has left behind
Hope like the sun is fading
They're waiting for a cure no one can find

And I hear children's voices singing
Of a God who heals and rescues and restores
And I'm reminded
That every child in Africa is Yours"

More tears!

Later that night on 20/20, there was a segment about people using camels to transport medicine in battery-operated refrigerators to people in remote areas of north Kenya.

And this is just a sample of how God continues to confirm our call to Africa!  Things like this happen daily.  I cannot make this stuff up!!!


Oh I was just about to end this post, but now I feel compelled to share a few more things with you regarding Africa. 

When Sandra at my chiroprator's office said she had been to Zimbabwe a few years ago, I could picture that country in Africa because I had just heard an incredible story about a lady from that country on Oprah. 

*Disclaimer: Let me just say that in the 25 years Oprah has been on TV, I could count on one hand how many times I've watched her show.  But, since we only have local channels now and Oprah was going off the air, I honestly was intrigued to watch some of her last shows after seeing them advertised over & over & over again.  This particular show was about Oprah's most memorable guest.

This lady was from Zimbabwe and wanted to go to school like her brother.  She got her chance for a brief period of time until she was married at the age of 11.  Her husband would not let her continue.  But, her dream was to get an education in the US.  She overcame some very difficult challenges to achieve her dream.  Now she has started a school for girls in Zimbabwe.   

This lady's story even had Oprah quoting Scripture from Psalm 61:2-3:

"...lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe. "


My son Tanner is in the chorus at his school, and they recently performed their spring concert.  For their last song, they teamed up with the high school chorus to sing "Bonse Aba" - a song from Africa!  (The song is about becoming children of God!)

Sorry!  I have tried several times to upload the video but can't get it to work.  I'll try again later. 

Here is a picture of Tanner & his shadow after the concert.  He did a great job!


This next picture is from Uptown, the children's ministry at my church.  We were singing during large group worship time one Sunday morning.  Check out the words when Africa is on the screen!  "I want to be Your hands, I want to be Your feet"

The next line says, "I'll go where You send me; Go where You send me."

And check out that rainbow!!! It was an extra surprise from my Amazing God reminding me of His presence.  I didn't see the rainbow until I uploaded the picture on my computer. It wasn't on the screen.  It occurred when I took the picture:)  Only God!  

No, we can't deny God's call to Africa.  We are trusting Him to work out all of the details in His perfect timing and to lead us each step of the way - His way.

What about YOU? 

Is there something or someone God keeps bringing to your mind or putting in your path? 

What has He prepared in advance for you to do? 

Are you willing to do it?   

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us?”
And I said, Here am I. Send me!” 
 Isaiah 6:8

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

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