Letting Go of Fear, Finding Deeper Love
Since childhood I have had a fascination with the continent of Africa. As an adult, the Lord placed missionaries to Africa in my path furthering my fascination and eventual understanding that someday I would go. However, when the opportunity presented itself in the form of an invitation to go on this Park Chapel trip to Burkina Faso last July/August, I was totally against going. Over the next 6-7 months I wrestled with the Lord over the opportunity. I can truthfully say, after many pleas for affirmation from God as to whether or not I was to go, He never gave me a firm, "Yes", but He also never gave me a firm, "No". So, I went.
The root of my resistance to go to Burkina Faso was fear: fear of flying, fear of the unknown, fear of political unrest, fear of stepping out of my comfort zone, fear of snakes ( never saw any!!!), fear of not knowing what I would do on a daily basis when there, and the list goes on. However, when I mentioned to a few people that the opportunity was available, their response was overwhelmingly positive that I should go, which just added more pressure.
God in His faithfulness and deep love for me through the daily devotional given to our team members that was prepared by Dave Woods, met me where I was and gently and patiently walked me through my fears and taught me of Him through His Word. With all the rich experiences I had on the trip, my Godly fellow teammates, faithful prayer partners, myriad people, family and friends who were praying for all of us on this trip, this deeper relationship that I gained with the Lord is what was most significant for me.
Africa is beautiful. Burkina Faso is beautiful. The people of that proud nation are generous and kind and desire to share their country with the world. Going on a mission trip like this humbles oneself as you experience daily life in a country that lacks many of the conveniences we here in the US take for granted. Furthermore, interfacing with the Christian missionaries there who for the joy of serving God choose to live under extreme circumstances made me look very closely at my own life and ponder to what extent I live sacrificially. I give God all praise and glory for allowing me to serve Him in Burkina Faso.