DEPARTURE DATE: 17 AUGUST 2014
LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!!
Recently, my good friend Janelle posted this picture onto my Facebook page. I thought it was not only funny but also a good reminder to not get stressed out.
Well, it's been nearly 3 years since we first felt God clearly tell us to make the move to Kenya as a family and often in our human nature we want things to happen instantly. If someone had told me at the end of 2011 that it wouldn't be until August 2014 that we move I would have been disheartened. But things take time and it's actually really good to enjoy and learn in the process. Thankfully, the time has come now for us to make the move to Nairobi, Kenya. In a few short weeks we will boarding the plane.
When I reflect on the last 3 years I can see how much I've learnt and hopefully I am going to Kenya better equipped for whatever it brings. So here are a few things I've discovered in this process:
1. God is faithfully and trustworthy
God has met us every step of the way as we have prepared to move to Kenya. He was there when we sold our home, when Anthony left his job, when our dogs needed a new home, when we traveled around Australia, when I was scared and anxious about the future. He especially gave us incredible peace during the emergency birth of Lucy. He has met our every need and gone above and beyond what we could have hoped for. He has got our back and although I have the occasional moment of worry I really do know that He is taking care of all our needs.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
2. Ministry of family
Anthony and the girls are the most important ministry I will have here on this earth. Many times people have asked me what I am planning to do in Kenya and my reply is usually I'm going there to raise my family. My hearts desire is to raise world changing children and I believe that what God uses us to do will be as a family. I want to see my girls equipped with everything they need to be light in the world. I believe that if we love our children well and raise them to be great princess warriors then our family will make a difference in Kenya by who we are more than what we say.
Likewise, I want to have an amazing marriage. I desire to see our marriage demonstrate to those around us the love of God. My marriage and family are a gift from God and they will always come first. Anthony and I agree that our priorities will always be relationship with God then each other and our girls before anything else.
3. Loving Others
When we traveled around Australia we met and got to know many amazing people from all walks of life. We would get chatting to people and get to know them in a short amount of time. Most of the time we didn't know if we were camped next to a shop assistant, a teacher, a doctor or a cleaner. It struck me that sometimes I've made assumptions about another person based on what they do rather than who they are. I questioned whether sometimes people give more respect to a stranger who's a lawyer rather than a receptionist.
A camp ground is an even playing field so to speak. Nobody knew us and we didn't know anyone else. It was up to me to get to know people without judgments based on their lives. Jesus died once for all people. If this is true (I believe it is) then he sees us all as equal. He loves all people the same and he sees them through a different filter than most people do. So I feel challenged to put on my Jesus filter with everyone I meet. I want to see them the way He does. I believe that when I choose to see people through the love of Christ regardless of who they are or what they do then I'm valuing who they are. Everyone deserves to be loved the same.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
4. Relationship over tasks
So while we were travelling we set up and packed up around 60 times. For those of you who enjoy camping you are probably like me and don't look forward to pack up day. In the past pack up day has always been about achieving the task and getting out of the camp ground before check out time. However inevitably, we would always find that some friendly person always wanted to chat while we were packing up. They would come over and say things like, "where did you get your washing line from?" or "Can I have a look at your trailer?" or " Can you show me how your solar panels work?". At the beginning all these questions would infuriate me, especially when Anthony was getting distracted by them. I would brew on the inside while our camper packing up efforts came to a grinding halt. Couldn't these people see we were trying to pack up?
But what would Jesus say or do in this situation? I realised that the priority of relationship was more important than achieving a task. I learnt to let go and stop being a control freak. I started to join in the conversations and take the opportunities to connect with the people that were in front of me. After a while people started to comment, "I've never seen any family so relaxed about packing up" or "How do you manage to not fight while packing?". Most of our trip we never left a caravan park on time and we were never charged any extra fees either.
I want to be the sort of person who puts people above tasks. Yes there are times when that is not possible but where possible I want to stop and give others the time they deserve. In the gospels Jesus often stopped in the middle of doing something or going somewhere to help someone. I hope that we can be like Jesus to the people we meet along our journey.
5. Choose to make a difference
Around me all the time are opportunities to make a difference to someone's life. I am learning to look for more of these people connections. It can be as simple as a smile, a kind greeting or buying someone a cup of coffee. Everyone deserves to be loved. You just don't know what impact you can have or how your behaviour or response can influence the people around you. But one thing is for sure that kindness and generosity are never going to ruin someone's day.
6. Be happy
Lastly, I want to say that I have learnt that life is for enjoying and happiness is contagious. My joy and happiness comes from Jesus and I want that to shine out of me.
Bless you all and be happy because there's lots to be happy about.
We are a family who are just seeking to do what God wants us to do. We have heard God speak and we want to be obedient to his voice, and are excited by what He is going to do when we respond!