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Back to the Bush! Bush camp vs Base Camp!

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While visiting my favorite Christian camp last week, a young friend of mine asked me if I would be writing anymore about my experience in the African bush. Of course, I never meant to quit writing those posts but ideas came to write other posts and somehow my bush stories got pushed to the back burner, so to speak. Therefore, I will attempt to pick up where I left off and set aside Wednesdays to write these posts.

 

269343_10151831127560389_1908601040_n Not to worry, there were no lions where the camp was. Just thought this would set the stage for my post!


Not to worry, there were no lions where the camp was. Just thought this would set the stage for my post!

(To read the last post I wrote about my bush experience and be brought up to date, check November 2013 archives!)

It’s 2-6-13 and the staff (which, hallelujah, included me) were headed back to base camp!

 

Home Sweet Home!

Base Camp – Home Sweet Home!

 

vs.

Quick action on the part of our trainees kept my tukal from catching fire.

My home away from home!

Ahh, to be in a house (not a tukal) with a bathroom (not an outhouse) just a few short steps from my comfortable bed, eating something other than beans and rice, drinking cokes instead of filtered water! Since I had just come in from the bush I saw these as luxuries for the first time in my life!

By returning to home base, I was able to sort through the jumbled thoughts racing around in my head. God used this reprieve to clear and stabilize my thinking. Though I still had a ways to go, I grew less negative and more positive in my thinking.

A phone call to a dear friend back in the USA gave me the chance to talk with someone who would be willing to listen to me and empathize with me about the harsh realities this 64 year old woman had endured. She didn’t gloss over the hard stuff and offered words that energized and encouraged me. Sharing with her some of the thoughts with which God had impressed upon me over the previous days, helped me gain clarity and purpose.

A media team from the mission organization we belonged to, had arrived at home base. Two young women gifted with the ability to write and photograph well blended right in with our missionary band. I admired these women a lot. Here they were bravely traveling all over the world by themselves and all for the sake of the gospel. I had, up until that meeting, always thought to be a photographer/writer for the National Geographic would be an exciting and intriguing job. After meeting these extraordinary women, I have changed my mind. Not about being a photographer/writer but to do this kind of work for the sake of the gospel?

Wrapping this post up with a verse with which I struggled in taking to heart during my time in the bush. The fiery darts were bombarding me and with the harshness of my living conditions, not to mention the challenges I faced physically, the truths of this verse continued to elude me. Nevertheless, I kept my focus on this verse, for I knew my recovery would be found within its truths–especially the part about praying with thanksgiving. I can’t say that I was able to fully thank God for the challenges and struggles of bush camp (while I was there; at least not to the extent I would like to be able to claim). But now that I am home and have had time to ponder those days, I can sincerely state that I thank God for every difficult moment. If there is to be a next time, my first time in the bush will have prepared me well.

6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipines 4:6-7 (HCSB)

 

A Most Unlikely Missionary!

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I have endured and I have returned.  My experiences exceeded my expectations.  While I in no way could include a full description of all that I learned and encountered (and continue to learn as I process it all) in one post, it will be my intention to share those encounters as God leads via this blog.  I will follow God’s lead and see what transpires.

The reason I came to Africa!

The reason I came to Africa!

The caption reads true!

I cannot claim to have had lofty ideas about traveling to the dark continent of Africa in order to fulfill a burning desire to bring light to a world overcome with darkness.  (If that was my motivation then I could have stayed put.  We have enough overwhelming darkness right here in America!)

Sorry to disappoint you, but I went to Africa to fulfill a burning desire to hold and spend time with my newborn 9th grandchild (1st child of my only son).  Plain and simple!

But true to His nature, God had plans for this grandmother that would go beyond what I could have ever imagined.  Plans that would set me on a new direction and add a new dimension to my service to Him.  And He would accomplish this by setting in motion 43 years earlier, His plan to call out a young lady of 21 years to completely surrender her life to Him.

My husband has faithfully served the LORD for the past 33 years as a minister of the Gospel.  And like my husband I sought God as to what His call on my life would be and all I could come up with was ‘full time Christian service’.  God wouldn’t be more specific than that and I confess that was a bit frustrating.  For I wanted to know specifics!

But as the years passed and God began unfolding His plan, I discovered that I was to walk as I was given light.  When I gave birth to our first child I was overwhelmed by the full force of the love God had planted in my heart for her.  Then 3 children (2 more daughters and a son) later I found myself happily and totally devoted to the call of motherhood.  I found God leading me to do a variety of things which had at their source the singular call to motherhood.

Yes, I taught school for 15 years, but I went into teaching because it would allow me to be in the same school where my children were already attending.  It would afford me more opportunities to minister to my own children.

As you can see the calling of God on my life is navigated in large part according to the direction God is leading my children.  Therefore, when my 9th grandchild entered this world in the far off land of Africa, would there be any question as to whether or not Nammy would be preparing her traveling bags?  I don’t think so!  Actually, there was this question–When and for how long would I stay?

It has been my experience with God that He has a definite sense of humor.  I obtained an airline ticket last August to spend 2 1/2 months with my son and his family, in particular to spend time and make memories with my brand-new grandson.  When I got to Africa in December, I discovered that I would be teaching the children of a group of missionaries who would be in training out at a location in the bush.  My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson would also be living at the bush camp, so while I would be near them, I would not be exclusively with them.  This came as a shock to me.  (Notice I wrote shock and not surprise. I was in shock folks that’s a lot more intense than being surprised)!  I was not a happy camper.  The following days were intense and I will attempt to begin sharing the details with you in my next post.

So, let me pause here and bring this post to a stopping place.  I will pick up next time with what transpired thereafter.  (It ain’t pretty!)

See ya soon,

Snake in the Schoolhouse!

Snake in the Schoolhouse!

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