Why NOT Africa?
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
So many people have asked Jay and I "why Africa?". We, ourselves, have asked God that same question. Now, we simply say "why NOT Africa?" Because you see, Africa and all other locations in this world have people in it that need to hear about Jesus. No where and no one is excluded. God just happened to call us to THIS particular place at THIS particular time in our lives. Want to hear more? I hope that you will follow our story as I share it via this method. Our story is not to glorify us. It is not to bring attention to ourselves. It is only to show the marvelous works of our Lord and how he intricately designed each and every detail of this story for His kingdom.
Let's get started!
Surrendering our lives to him, I thought, was going well. I was working in the nursery at church. Jay was on the ushering team. I was making phone calls to first time guests that visited the church. We were volunteering to assist with our church's VIP program (serving homeless families once per quarter). All of these things were and still are great! We were serving the Lord! But He wanted more of us. He, by his mercy and grace and faithfulness and everlasting love, has taught us so much as we opened our hearts up to follow Him.
On February 3, 2015, I was sitting at my desk at work. About 8:45 or so that morning, my phone buzzed indicating that a text message had arrived. As I opened it, I saw that the message was from Jay. Certainly, it wasn't unusual for me to receive messages from him throughout the day. It was slightly unusual for it to be a picture message. As I opened it, my eyes fell upon a picture of a child who was obviously very poor and was in Africa. How random I thought! Why is he sending me this? We have never even spoken to each other about anything related to Africa. But even more importantly, I was asking myself, "Why is my heart racing like this and feeling like it is going to beat out of my chest?" I didn't know the answer but as my day got busy, I put it out of my mind and went on about the business of being the director of special education services which required so much of my attention and focus.
About 3:40 that afternoon, my phone again buzzed and once again, it was a picture message from Jay. This picture contained images of children digging through a garbage pile searching for what I now know is food or pieces of charcoal or anything of any value that can be sold to make money to simply survive. As I looked at this picture, my heart, once again, started beating so fast and this time it was mixed with tears that poured down my face. I knew in my heart that God was speaking to me and obviously to Jay as well. At that moment, I gathered my things, told Nancy (my awesome administrative assistant) that I was ok but that I needed to go home. The drive home was filled with questions and conversation with God. I wish I had a recording of what I am sure was dialogue that went something like this:
Me- You want ME to go to Africa?
God- I sure do.
Me- You must have me confused with someone else!
God- No, I do not.
Me- You HAVE to have me confused with someone else. I don't like hot weather! I don't like dirt! I don't like wearing skirts (required for the location we would be going).
God- You'll be ok and you'll get over it (sounds like something that I would say!).
Me- But I can't afford to go to Africa.
God- You do not worry. If I ask you to do something, I will provide.
Me- But that's a lot of money!
God- Trust in me.
Me- I still think you have me confused with someone else.
God- It is you that I am calling.
And on and on the conversation went as I drove the 20 minutes or so home.
Once I arrived in the door, I could see by the look on Jay's face that he, too, had been crying. We simply embraced each other and cried and cried and cried. I think I beat on his chest a little and repeated the same things I had told God (I don't like hot weather and I don't like dirt!).
It must have been truly a sight to be seen as we both had red faces from crying. My hair was melted to his shirt as it was mixed with tears and snot and drool! Yuck! But you know what? I bet in God's eyes, it was beautiful because you see, He was seeing two of his children that He had spoken to say, "Ok Lord. Here we are. Use us. We don't know why Africa but you do. Show us the way". He began showing us the way immediately in a series of events that followed right after the moment we realized where we were being called. Simply amazing.
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