About a month and a half ago, I received an intriguing Facebook message that seemed almost too good to be true. It was from Samuel Lunsford, who I didn't really know personally but knew of because I know some of his family, and also because I've read e-mail updates in the past about he and his wife serving as missionaries in Africa. It turns out that he had been reading this blog and some of the things I said about my time in Honduras and my desire for another similar opportunity, and wanted to invite me to come visit them when they return to Togo this fall. Obviously I was very excited by this possibility, and honored that they would extend such an invitation to me. So, I began the process of learning about this opportunity and trying to discern if it was something God had planned for me.
Samuel and Lauren were kind enough to have me over for dinner one night, and during our conversation they told me about how they will be serving at Village of Light School for the Blind, a school that teaches students how to read a Braille Bible, and also helps them learn a trade. As soon as they started showing me pictures of some of the students, I knew this was the opportunity I had been praying for. I had the same feeling I did the first time I saw a slideshow of pictures from Honduras and knew I needed to pursue that trip that helped me discover my passion for the mission field. In spite of my excitement, I still had a nagging doubt, because my mission trip attempts in the past haven't always worked out the way I hoped they would. My foundation of faith helps me to know that this is what God is calling me to pursue right now, but my flawed humanity wants me to remember the times my feelings were hurt when I got excited about opportunities that didn't work out. But the excitement started to eat away at the doubt, and I started searching for answers.
I talked to my pastor very honestly about my doubts and was encouraged. I talked to someone at my job about what would happen if I was gone for multiple weeks, and was reassured that I would still have that job upon returning. I wondered how I would avoid falling even farther behind in school if I was gone for so long during the fall semester until I realized (and by "I realized" I mean my mom pointed this out) that I could take classes during the summer and use the fall as my break instead.
So after what feels like forever but was really only a few weeks, I can finally say that I plan to travel to Togo, Africa in October. It's going to be expensive, and parts of it will even be scary. I'll have to navigate several airports by myself and that's intimidating, but none of these things outweigh the fact that I believe this is something I'm supposed to do, and an opportunity that I've been praying and waiting for. I don't have all the answers, but I do have that foundation I talked about a few weeks ago. This is a bit out of character for me, but I would like to ask for your prayers as I continue to pursue this mission. I'm very thankful to the Lunsfords for providing this opportunity, and anxiously awaiting to see what God has in store for this new season.