Sunday, September 18, 2016

One Month to Togo; Thoughts on Being the Light

     Exactly one month from today, I will be leaving for Africa. I am very excited for this opportunity that is finally feeling like a reality after months of preparation. However, I've started to avoid mentioning it very much lately, because I've been  feeling very oversensitive to any comment or opinion about what I am doing that is not completely positive.
     Yes, I know there are people who live closer than Africa who need help. Several individuals have pointed that out to me in various degrees over the past few months. The original thoughts in my head after those comments were not nice am not proud of them, but if I was a better person I would simply answer with  "Well friend, if you are feeling concerned about those people, then perhaps helping them is your mission." It hurts me that some people seem to pick apart and judge something good I am trying to do, but the positive comments and encouragement have far outweighed the negative, 
     Another reason I've been hesitant to say much about my plans for Africa lately is that they feel in a way very personal. It's hard for me to explain how significant it feels that there are people who have been lead to believe that a disability makes you bad or worthless, and I have a unique opportunity to prove that wrong in a way that few people can. Every circumstance of the way this plan came together has given me reassurance that going to Africa is exactly what God is asking me to do at this time in my life. 
     I've been tempted to stay quiet about my plans lately because I don't feel like hearing criticism or even questions about my plans, but last night I had an eye opening experience. As I listened to a good friend share her testimony about her mission that has just been completed, I was reminded just how important it is for each of us to share our testimony, whether we are at the end of a mission or just beginning.
 Maybe I'm not to the place yet where I know exactly what I want to say or how I want to say it. All I know at this point is that I do have something to say. I will have some access to Wi-fi while I am in Africa (another thing I've hesitated to mention because of implications that because of this access these people must be doing just fine) and I plan to update my blog as much as possible. Sometimes when there are no comments or other forms of feedback, I get discouraged that no one is paying attention to or relating to the things I write, but I continue on. I would love to have more people become aware of this blog before I get to Africa so that the light I find there can be spread as far as possible. So, I humbly ask those of you who have been faithfully reading what I have to say to consider sharing with a friend. I am thankful to the people in my life who are a light to me, and I hope that in some way, the things I share through writing can be a light to each of you.

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