My sweet mom has recently picked up on this whole blogging thing. She is such an amazing writer, and I have always known that. I loved this post she wrote just the other day. Probably because the topic is so close to my heart. I love the way she tells the story. Read along below, and check out her blog over here.
God has a sense of humor. I am convinced of this. He laughs out loud at us. It’s not the kind of laugh that finds humor in our mistakes, but the kind of laugh that gets a good belly roll out of our ways. God invented laughter; He loves laughter… and so, I’m learning not to be so serious all of the time. As I look back over my life, I am seeing that many things have happened and I’m sure that the Lord is having a tremendously good laugh!! (I’m serious!)
Do you recall my last post how I said I didn’t want to live with “half-naked tribal people”? Well, this had nothing to do with me being prejudice, or judgmental of such people. It did have to do with my unwillingness to see another’s needs over my own “wants”. It also had a lot to do with me not wanting to be “inconvenienced”. The Lord has done a lot in my heart in the last 24+ years. He’s slowly breaking my heart of stone and giving me a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 26:36) He’s done that a lot by using my husband and daughters.
Even though my heart did not want to entertain the thought of going overseas amongst people who were…. well… different… it seems that since each of my daughters could even talk, they began including in their prayers, prayer for Africa, for the homeless, for the less fortunate… Yes, God was smiling.
When my oldest daughter, Lindsey was only about four years old, I noticed that she had, what seemed to me to be an obsession with African American people. Every time we would be in the company of someone whose skin was slightly darker than our own, Lindsey would stare… but it wasn’t just a childish stare at someone who looked different than herself… it was a stare of compassion… She LOVED African American people.
One day, we were in the store and we were in close proximity to an African American mom and her little daughter who was close to Lindsey’s age. This little beauty had a ton of braids in her hair and so many little beads. Lindsey was enamored. She said quite loudly, “Mommy, I want to look like her!! Mommy, please do my hair like her!!” I tried to explain to Lindsey in the simplest way possible, “Honey, your hair won’t do that.”
As the years progressed and my girls began to grow, their heart for Africa also began to grow. Even though I was unwilling to entertain the possibility of leaving the comfort of my familiar ground and go serve those in another nation- each and every one of my daughters had this growing URGE to do so!!!(Yes, this is where I began to hear God laughing.)
When Lindsey was 16, she BEGGED us to allow her to go on her first mission’s trip. We agreed. We encouraged her to pray about where to go, and without any hesitation, she said, “I want to go to Africa!!” I began rationalizing this matter with my 16 year old… “Why not go on a trip that is closer (in the same continent or hemisphere for that matter)?” Her response, “Mom, God told me Africa—I must go!!” (Do you hear His giggles??) Me too…
And so Lindsey boarded a big plane and she spent 10 days in South Africa, serving the poor and needy of this beautiful land… and it changed her.
On the way home from the airport, Lindsey chattered a mile a minute. She was already planning a return trip, or possibly serving in this country full time. Even before we arrived home she said, “Mom, I have a lot of pictures to show you, but there is this ONE that I think will be very meaningful to you… I just have to show it to you now.”
Lindsey flashed this incredible picture before my eyes and immediately I cried.. God had sent Lindsey to Africa, and in this picture she was surrounded by the very people he had placed on her heart as a little girl, and He used these very people to give her a childhood desire…they were braiding her hair. When I saw this picture I saw a four year old who just received the answer to her dreams.
Lindsey was the first to travel to Africa. She went again with her dad a few years later; spending a month in Uganda, serving the orphans. Morgan spent three months last year in Africa. Shortly after High School, she traveled to South Africa and Botswana to serve those suffering with AIDS, the orphaned and the poverty stricken. Ally spent her Christmas break this past year in South Africa serving the orphaned. She plans to return this year again for a longer length of time…. And Erica is asking to go soon, as well…
And God is laughing… and my heart is now breaking for those “half naked tribal people” whom God loves, and now, so do I.
One day, I too, shall go.