You all are the best! Thanks so much for the encouraging emails and posts. I'm excited that people actually read this kind of thing. :)
At the risk of thinking too much, which my stepsister Angela has rightly accused me of doing in the past, I'm attempting to be transparent by telling you I've struggled with this silly concern: that I will cry the whole time I'm in Zimbabwe.
Alvaro wrote: "Whatever you see, whatever you touch, its Gods desire that you do it. Don't be afraid of anything because God will be there right at your side. We are very happy that you will be able to see the children and we do not have any feeding centers.....God has the feeding centers! So whatever you do you will be fulfilling God's desire for people to hear the testimony of the children's suffering. We were entrusted with these centers...to serve and to be a steward unto them. We really appreciate your desire to know more about these children. Our hearts Blessings and love will be with you all the way. You will only be getting a taste of what Our Lord is doing. When you see the suffering....don't feel weak...be strong. The Lord needs you to be strong for them."
I know that when I am weak, I must rely more on God's strength, and that's a good thing (2 Cor. 12:9-10). But for Pete's sake, how will I be able to do what I'm there to do hiding behind a tissue the entire time? That's been my fear--that I won't be strong. I do ask your prayers in this matter, but I want to share what the Lord has impressed upon my heart this weekend.
I've been reading Oswald Chambers's My Utmost For His Highest along with my good friend Diana who serves with her husband in Athens. We enjoy discussing Chambers's thoughts by email, along with many other mysteries of faith and womanhood. On Saturday the excerpt dealt with John 14:27--"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Now, I've banked on that one for years. And I'm certain many, many folks have already drawn the conclusion I came to, but it struck me in a fresh and timely way: I wondered for a moment if Jesus wasn't a little unfair here, telling his disciples not to be troubled or afraid. Their world was about to fall apart. At least as far as they would be able to see. They didn't know what the end result of the cross would be; they didn't understand the enormous eternal shift that was going to take place in their midst. They couldn't comprehend how God was in complete control even when it appeared all hope was lost. And that's when I got it (again): we don't have to comprehend it all, either. We can just believe. We can have peace knowing that no matter what we see, no matter how things appear, hope is not lost. God is always at work on behalf of his beloved. It's okay to cry, but we don't have to be undone by the suffering or situations around us because God holds each of us under His wing. And He has plans . . .
I've added a link to Justin Nash's photos taken with Alvaro last February and to the sites of some other friends and special places. If you feel clueless about my upcoming trip and want more details about my role and how these things came about, just email me.
Besides, I'd love to hear about your journey.