So many of you have asked how dinner went, so I thought I’d post some of my thoughts about it here.
When I walked into my house that evening prior to dinner my roommate and I had an interesting conversation.
x: G, I won’t be home for dinner tonight.
x: I’m going to so-and-so’s house for dinner.
(As I walk away, she yells after me)
g: I don’t get you.
g: Your facial expressions never make sense.
x: That’s the point.
g: You just gave me a look like you were going to meet a boy.
x: Actually, I’m meeting so-and-so’s parents. The one’s who run that orphanage in Zambia, remember? I’m a bit nervous about it, so it’s kinda like I’m meeting a boy. Except I’m meeting Africa instead.
g: I don’t get you
x: That’s the point.
Dinner went very well. So-and-so’s parents are older, about the same age as my grandparents, so I immediately felt at home around them. They’ve lived in Africa for so long that their English has a very distinct “I don’t know where I’m from, but it’s not the states” accent and since my grandmother’s accent is very dutch it was like soul food in my ears. They are incredibly welcoming and loving. Their ministry in Zambia is incredible. On top of running the orphanage, they also run a school and a health clinic. They deal with witch doctors and semi-corrupt government officials. It all sounds so authentically African, as it should.
The night was filled with questions, stories and photos, and I walked away with more information than I could imagine. All of the questions one asks about how to get to their orphanage and what to bring were already written down for me. If I were to visit Zambia this fall most of the preliminary research is already done. How convenient.
Afterward, I got to thinking about that conversation I had with my roommate. My feelings prior to and during dinner were very much like the “I’m meeting a boy” feelings. There was something fantastically exciting about meeting African missionaries with the intention of figuring out part of my future on the continent.
At one point during dinner the question of husbands came up. Mrs. Africa was telling me how her and her husband met and I somehow ended up telling them my philosiphy on marriage. Surprise, surprise. I said something along the lines of, “As I sit here and look at these photos and hear your stories, everything is confirming to me that I need to go to Africa. I feel like discovering who I truly am lies in African relief work and I cannot imagine marrying a man whose heart isn’t in the same place.” Mrs. Africa loved that I said that, which I was glad for since saying such bold statements often gets me into trouble. I’m not necessarily saying that I won’t marry a man who isn’t already pursuing Africa. My heart is solely set on pursuing the Lord and what He has for me. I will marry a man who shares that heart. If the Lord calls us to Africa together, it will be because of the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. Until the day when I have to make decisions with my husband, I will pursue Africa.
Along with all the fears of being a misionary (potentially living in the bush, being incredibly poor, etc.), my very being feels at peace when I ponder the Lord’s work in Africa. At the same time, the calling I feel on my life to go over there puts me at a deep unrest. The idea that I may actually have a clue as to what I’m supposed to be doing with my life brings peace but frustration as well since I am not yet there. I am at a place where I can either walk in patience and honor the Lord with my attitude (since He is clearly calling me to wait) or I can live frustrated with life, Upstate NY and this endless winter.
I choose peace.
I know you’re all wondering if I’ll be going to Zambia this fall. I’m wondering that too. I’ve been praying for wisdom in that decision and feel that it must be made soon. I will be sure to let you all know when I find out. And after I tell my parents. They like hearing these things over the phone, not the web. In the meantime, you can continue to pray for me. Pray for wisdom and guidance and also for the strength to step out in obedience to the Word. I want to choose joy versus frustration. Thank you.