Africa: how it all began...
I wanted to go to college, maybe work, look at places I'd like to eventually travel to, but not go anywhere crazy for a while.
Now, I'm going to Africa.
It started sometime towards the end of October, beginning of November. I was in Shawn Tyler's "Intro to Missions" class at Lubbock Christian University. It's my first semester there and I'm just excited to be able to study something that I'm so passionate about. I feel that I had grown particularly fond of Shawn and his family, desiring to gain wisdom from their mission work and feelings toward what Christians have to offer.
I had a meeting with Shawn toward the end of the semester where he mentioned a trip to Africa this summer. He usually goes for about seven weeks and it's a great opportunity to see day-to-day actual mission work and be able to see if you could commit your life to it. He visits villages and churches that he helped start. He sees where he lived for thirty years and the people that are still living there.
I had never had much interest in Africa. I've studied Spanish for years, thinking that Central or South America is where I would end up, and though I told Shawn that I would think about it, in my head, I had told myself I wasn't interested.
Over the course of the next couple weeks,
Africa started popping up everywhere.
I heard it in conversation more than I ever had. Articles popped up online randomly, and pictures on Pinterest for places. It was just a little too much to be coincidental. I began praying more seriously about this trip, talking with friends and my family about the possibility of going to Africa for almost two whole months. I started questioning everything about my walk on the mission field so far and why I had felt so lead to study Spanish for so long. I realize that it all has had it's purpose and I'm only being lead further along God's path for my life.
After I decided that I definitely thought I was feeling called to join this trip, we reached another point. Although the group is supposed to be small, there need to be at least two girls for safety reasons (and I desperately wanted a companion). As I was mentioning it to one of my best friends Macy, she paused and told me that she was interested. She was already feeling lead to do something different this summer than the camp that she usually does and Africa happens to be the exact same amount of time.
We prayed together and ended up going to church together the day she was going to tell her mom about the trip.
This church service changed everything...
While visiting this church that we had never been to before, the guest pastor calls us out of the entire congregation (which was small, I admit, but still). When we get on stage, she asks if we believe in prophecy through the holy spirit. We say yes and she begins to pray for us.
Throughout this elaborate prayer, she brings up things from our pasts that can only be from God. She prays over us and reveals that God is trying to put a team together for a mission trip and she can feel that we've supposed to go. She asks me who I'm trying to get to go with me to Africa, and Macy smiles and says that it's her. The entire church prayed over us and Macy never even had to tell her mom. God told her.
By the end of that service, there was no way we couldn't go. Any doubts we had, or excuses were gone. If we didn't follow through now, it felt like direct disobedience to God.
We are going to Africa.
And that, in the extremely short version, is how it all began...