Please Don’t Send Me To Africa!

August 30, 2010 — Leave a comment

Africa.

I knew two things about it as a kid.

{And I use the word “knew” loosely!}

1. It was big &  had millions of hungry kids who never heard about God. (Remember me telling you how my dad would cry when we watched the “Feed the Children” infomercials?)

2. I should never go there. I mean, there is even a song written & performed by Scott Wesley Brown called Please Don’t Send Me To Africa! Here’s part of the song.

Please don’t send me to Africa

I don’t think I’ve got what it takes

I’m just a man, I’m not a Tarzan

Don’t like lions, gorillas or snakes

I’ll serve You here in suburbia

In my comfortable middle class life

But please don’t send me out into the bush

Where the natives are restless at night

……

I’ll see the money is gathered

I’ll see that the money is sent

I’ll wash and stack communion cups

I’ll tithe eleven percent!

I’ll volunteer for the nursery

I’ll go on the youth group retreat

I’ll usher, I’ll deacon, I’ll go door-to-door

Just let me keep warming this seat!

It was all done in good fun, but Africa was clearly a difficult place that only the flakes would dare go (that had no sense at all!)

Know what? I have no sense at all.

I even remember journaling something like, “Lord, I’ll be the crazy one to go to Africa if that’s where you want me.” I wanted so badly to serve God & do whatever He wanted. And “if Africa is the worst place on earth where they don’t know about God, well, I’ll go anyway!”

At age 13, I laid on my pink pillow, on my pink bed, in my pink room, and I begged God, “Lord, Here am I! Send me!” just like Isaiah the prophet. Of course I had NO IDEA what I was saying – only that I wanted to make a difference.

Know what? Until about a year ago, I did not remember this. I was reminded of my prayers when I read Tom Davis’ book, Red Letters, that opened my eyes to the TRUE Africa. Uh-oh! So God had taken me seriously all those years ago, “I’ll EVEN go to Africa, God!” Who knew!

He still hasn’t come through on the ‘don’t let me get fat’ prayer. 🙂

Here is the Africa I now long for. In less than three weeks, my prayers to go to the ends of the earth will be answered! And God orchestrated it all. I am humbled & so thankful.

“Africa is amazing. Africa is a million and one things. It is a land of contradictions, and a land of great controversy. Africa is more diverse than any other place on the planet. It has experienced the greatest combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill. It is plagued with individuals who are hurting, dirty, and dying. It is plagued with rich leaders. It is strong, joyful and resilient. Africa is filled to the brim with song, dance and soccer. It fills your lungs with life with every burnt breath. It fills your eyes with tears with every sight. The sun blazes, the rain pours. It has more sky than your eyes could possibly take in. Africa is humbling. Africa rips the heart out of your chest and buries it in the rich red soil, knowing that you will someday return, to see the growth. And there is no doubt it will grow. Africa is dangerous, welcoming, and addictive. It is prosperous. It is poor. It is all too overwhelming. Africa knows the value of friendship. Time is not money in Africa. And money goes a long way. Africa holds a mirror up to your soul – letting you see all your selfish desires, and not letting go, until you’re completely broken.” Unknown!!!

So Moms, don’t let go of the things God put in your heart long ago! Recall those innocent prayers of doing whatever, whenever God wanted. And listen to your kids’ desires & dreams – my parents never once told me I wouldn’t go to Africa. They let me dream until I moved onto my next big idea.

Of course, our children’s’ lives will take many turns, but I encourage you to stir up those innocent dreams in yourself & your children – even if it takes you half way around the world!

Nothing is too big for God – not even Africa!

SOS! Shine On Sisters!

daniellebrower

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...daughter of the King, wife and mother ~ danielle believes all christians are missionaries; we're called to love Jesus and share that love through active compassion that brings tangible & eternal change in the lives of those we touch. no one should live more proactive, more giving, more sacrificial lives than those that claim to know Christ. time to remove the blinders & excuses and let the love of Christ flow through us.

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