Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Africa On My Mind

Even though I have talked about it in a while, Africa is ever present in my thoughts.  I love that place.  God has given a special calling to our family, specifically to Swaziland.  We have been doing lots of behind-the-scenes work for Africa over the last year.  We have spent the time, effort, and money to make Beyond Survival a non-profit organization.  We have been in the process of laying the groundwork to make ourselves credible, functional, and able to really begin the work of the ministry.  Our website is very close to completion.  We have a board in place to help make decisions.  We are praying about the initiatives that God wants us to pursue and promote.  We will be planning events and fundraisers very soon.

This season has been hard for me.  Usually this time of year is packed with "Africa moments."  We are usually taking a team of people over, seeing our friends, and getting the opportunity to minister.  That has not been the case this year.  As an organization, we just weren't in a position to take a trip this summer.  The Lord has been revealing to us step-by-step and only step-by-step what His plans are for Beyond Survival.  

To be honest, it has been so hard for me to wait on the Lord in all of this. I know He has called us to Swaziland, but the last year has felt so void of following that calling.  We are spending so much time getting things set up for Beyond Survival and laying the groundwork for the organization, that we have not been able to do the real work of the ministry that I so long to do. My heart literally aches to go back there this summer, but that is not God's plan for now.  So, we continue to wait.

Rick and I, along with some of our prayer warriors, have been spending the last couple of weeks seeking God for the next steps of Beyond Survival.  I can't really say He has revealed any huge plan to me, but he has been reminding me that Africa is still our calling.  I know this sounds crazy, but we see Africa EVERYWHERE.  I try to take pictures when I can.  Here are the pics from the last two weeks.  Every one of these is completely random.  I did not create them at all.  I just saw them.

I literally had a spoonful of butter that I splattered into a bowl for a recipe and this is what happened:
 As I was washing dishes, I looked down and saw this:
 Walking out of the library:
 This one is hard to see, but it is pretty amazing.  The kids were playing with ice out on the back patio.  When they left, the water spot looked like this.  The top part was shaded, but if you turn it to the side you will see it, too.
 Abby outlined it in chalk so it would be easier to see:
 As I was eating my salad today, I looked down and saw this:
 Laila is even getting in on the action.  She came to me saying, "Mommy, Africa in my soap."  
I know it is a stretch, but since she saw it, we added it to the pics.
We only want to do what God has called us to.  We do not desire to create something apart from Him.  I was reminded on Sunday as I listened to the sermon that this "season of waiting" has purpose.  God is doing things in my heart.  I can pinpoint at least 4 life-changing lessons He has taught me during this process.  He has changed me for the better.  I have to trust and believe that this is all part of His plan.  I have to cling to the fact that whatever work He is doing in me right now will better prepare me for this calling in the future.


  1. I love how God speaks so clearly to your family about your calling. And I love that you share it!

  2. Beautiful! I love the Africa pictures!

    Just wanted to encourage you in this – I know you know there is a reason for the waiting but I thought I’d offer some personal testimony too. I have SO been in that place you are in! When God gave me the vision for The Sound of Hope, I spent several years of waiting. I worked at it as a campaign under AIM, I learned a lot, I tried a lot of things (and failed plenty). I got frustrated – I felt like I wasn’t doing “enough”, and then I married Rusty... and FINALLY the time came for us to make The Sound of Hope our own 501c3. Now we are seeing God bless it with crazy favor that we never expected! It was all about waiting on His timing!

    Your time will come, and I am so excited to see what He does in Swaziland through Beyond Survival! I know this season of waiting is hard but how WISE you are to put all the "behind the scenes" work in! You are being good stewards of your resources and setting up your organization for success! :)