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BACK TO THE BUSH: Unconventional Prayers!

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Airport? Yep, dirt runway and 1 plane!

Airport in the Bush: No buildings, dirt runway, one plane!

     Living in the bush is nothing, and I mean nothing, like the life I live here at home. I want you to think of going to the airport to pick up someone. Images such as driving down a smooth highway in rather heavy traffic, making a mad dash to the airport so you get there before the plane lands, pulling into the airport with planes taking off and landing overhead, air traffic control towers positioned strategically near the asphalt covered runways, or entering the multi-leveled terminals perhaps come to mind. Now, discard almost every one of them. 

February 22,2013

     On this particular morning, I was given the opportunity to ride with my son to the airstrip (notice I didn’t say airport) to pick up a couple from their mission organization, who were making a routine visit to see how well the missionaries in their charge were faring. 

     By the time it was decided that my son and I were to leave it was 8:52 a.m. and this couple was to arrive at 9:30. It typically took a minimum of 45 minutes to make such a trip.  You do the math! This was the familiar part of the experience–making a mad dash to the airport to arrive before the plane landed! 

    We needed to navigate the route as quickly as possible and for a very good reason–if the plane arrived before we did this dear couple would have to wait for us. Not a good idea!  For you see, unlike our airports, there were NO buildings where they could wait. It would be a matter of standing out in the open, on this lonely little strip of dirt!

    At the outset of the trip, I began praying. Roads there are pitted with holes of all depths and sizes, so my son’s daunting task was to dodge these potholes as speedily as possible.  My task was to keep my eyes glued to the road and warn him of the potholes and bumps ahead. 

     At one point, I failed to warn my son in time about a dip in the road ahead (we were in rather a hurry, you see) and the land rover went airborne. You know, I had always wondered what it might have been like for those Duke boys when the General Lee catapulted into the air! Well, now I knew!

     And just as we turned onto the road that led to the airstrip, my son saw the plane high up in the sky just beginning to make its descent. We high 5’d each other and shouted with relief! (Just like the Duke boys!) I thanked God (for the sake of the couple we were meeting) for understanding and mercifully seeing fit to  answer the rather unconventional prayers this not so typical mom of a missionary had been praying!

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)

 

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