Last summer I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany my husband on a business trip to South Africa. The short version of the story is that I assumed I’d go, see some interesting animals, take some pictures and come home. Resuming my life as it had been before.
That was not God’s plan.
The moment I believe my heart was broken and I began to hear God’s call was seeing the little boy – maybe 6, maybe older – malnutrition does a number on your height – standing on the street corner. He had cut off the tops of his shoes to give his feet more room. He wasn’t begging. He wasn’t crying in pain. But his image encapsulates in my mind the moment God clearly called me to mission.
Back in my office in Old Town Alexandria, by the umpteenth day that I sat crying, I realized I either had to get over it or do something. Not sure what to do, I turned to our assistant rector. She was so wonderful and understanding. I cried so much to her that I hope she went out and bought Kleenex stock.
Thankfully, she put me in touch with the diocese and from there I was able to being this journey through mission. She also guided me through a discernment process which helped clarify if I was truly being called. And if I was being called, to what or to where was the calling.
I won’t write the thousand and one things that have brought me to this moment. Nor do I believe anyone would want to read them. Rather, this is the where I am in the journey. I am now blessed to be going to Tanzania with the person I call my “mission mentor”. I feel called to take this journey for many reasons, two of which are the spiritual growth I need and the ability to work under an awesome missionary.
I still believe my calling is to South Africa. But I also believe that I must make that journey through this trip to Tanzania.
I am afraid. I am hopeful. And I am mostly so thankful for the opportunities and blessings that are ahead.