I’m preparing to go to Africa in a couple of days. By the time you read this, I’ll have been there for several weeks. I go with an organization called Marion Medical Mission. We put shallow wells in rural villages in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. I went in 2001, 2002, and 2003 and I’ve been on the Board of Directors for about 10 years. It’s time I got back to Africa.
I’m a little nervous. I shouldn’t be since I’ve already gone before. But I am. Maybe it’s because I still need to finish packing and tying up the loose ends with my congregation before I leave for a month. My husband says he never gets excited about a trip until all the preparations are done and he’s on the plane. Maybe it’s because of the long airplane flight from Omaha, Neb. to Charlotte, N.C., to Washington D.C. — overnight in the airport — to Ethiopia to Malawi. Ugh! Maybe it’s because I’m flying by myself this time instead of with other team members, although I flew to Athens, Greece myself when I was a junior in college. Maybe it’s because things have changed since I went the last time. We had smaller teams 10 years ago, and we covered a smaller area, so every night, after a hard day driving in back country Africa installing wells, we’d come back and all have dinner together. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to get out of my comfort zone. Whatever the reason, I’m a little nervous.
What I do know is that God will be with me. I take the promise from Matthew 28:20 seriously: Jesus says, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” What I do know is I’ve got lots of people praying for me. What I do know is we’ll be doing incredible work in the name of God. Hundreds and thousands of people will be getting clean water for the first time in their lives. What I do know is the African people are loving and generous and faithful. What I do know is it’s good for me to get out of my comfort zone every once in a while. What I do know is this trip will transform me once again.
Is God calling you to something that makes you a little nervous? That’s not a bad thing. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while. And remember, God is with you always, to the end of the age.