Africa

Africa
The word has filled so many people with wonder, curiosity, terror, amazement, dreams and excitement over the last several centuries. 
The first book I read that featured Africa was probably a children’s biography about David Livingstone. I remember being amazed by his life, his work there, his dedication. I subsequently read several more books about the man and was astonished at all the perils he braved and hardships he went through. 
When I was introduced to Mary Slessor through another biography, I was shocked and horrified to read about how the African people where she lived believed that when twins were born one of them was an evil spirit. Since they couldn’t figure out which child was the evil spirit and which was the baby, they’d leave both children out in the wild to die. Mary began saving these children and raising them, showing the people that they were both normal children after all. 
Over the years I read many books that took place in Africa, both fiction and non-fiction. The world there seemed so different from my own. Filled with wonder and amazement, I’d gobble up the books and then look for more. 

From my earliest years I can remember my parents reading to us about different missionaries, having prayer times for modern missionaries and learning as much as possible about them. We often went to churches where missionaries were speaking and attended conferences surrounding missions.

Any time we didn’t like the food we’d been served, our parents would make us eat extra and tell us “It’s good missionary training”, when we had a hardship and wanted to complain, the words “Good missionary training” silenced us.

Every chance we got we’d invite missionaries into our home and treat them like royalty. My parents drilled the concept into our lives by their actions and their words “These people have given their lives to serve God, and this is our chance to serve them as a thank you.”

Listening wide-eyed as our missionary friends talked about walking for dozens of miles, having their clothes devoured by an army of ants, eating cats, the difficulties of learning a new language and the stinging aloneness of having all their family and friends across the ocean gave me a somber appreciation for all they go through.

Over the years I’ve gotten to go on several short-term mission trips in South America and Asia and help out/encourage missionaries who have dedicated their lives to telling other’s about God in far away countries. I’ve also gotten to visit with missionaries in Europe and right here in North America.

And now, I have the great privilege of doing the same in Africa.

I’m so excited to be traveling to that far-away continent a month from today (Lord willing) with my sister and cousin to help out/visit/encourage some missionary friends of ours for a couple of weeks. I’m amazed that it’s actually working out and thrilled to see what God has in store for us.

If y’all think about it, you could pray that everything works out the way it should and that we’d be a big encouragement. Thanks, everyone! 

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