is what I keep telling myself. I had no idea that booking this trip to Sudan would so drastically change the way that I think about the rest of my life. I have thought for several years that someday I would make a career out of missions, but am starting to wonder if that change is closer than I thought. The hardest part is remembering that I don’t have to keep straining myself to see further down the path that God has laid out for me. For now, I’m trying to focus on the part of my journey that I can clearly see: me traveling from Dayton to Yei.
Step 1: Get that body movin’!
One of the first commitments that I made after I booked my flight was to get my body back in shape. The average person in southern Sudan lives on less than $1 per day; I’m sure their budgets don’t leave room for extra snacks. I am determined not to arrive in their country and showcase the fact that food is so readily available to me. Even more so, I no longer want to be that person without self-control over what I put into and do with my body. As Mike Slaughter often reminds us, “All leadership beings with self-leadership.” But as all of us know, making that type of change is a hard one. So the fight to get down to and stay at a healthy weight began… again. I have committed to keeping track of my eating, exercise, and how much water I drink each day. I even keep a sticker chart to reward myself on the days that I stay within the limits. I am currently three weeks in with stickers every day- so far, so good!
Step 2: Dust off those history books (or open the computer)
Another step that I am taking is learning as much as I can about Sudan before I go. I have recently started reading about the history of the country and have been considering making myself write a research paper. Maybe its time I put the skills Mr. Leugers taught me to some good use!
Step 3: Rally my supporters!
Several weeks ago during a bible study we were reading Matthew 14:28-31
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
We were discussing the importance of keeping your eyes on Jesus rather than the things that scare you or threaten to stop you. I kept wondering about the rest of the disciples and whether Peter’s outcome might have been different if they had been cheering for him and reminding him to stay focused on Jesus. It’s hard for me to describe how many doubts and fears I have about going to Sudan. I often wonder if I am faithful enough, knowledgeable enough, strong enough, brave enough, or even Christian enough to go do God’s work in such a different place. I can’t help but think, though, if I can gather a boatload of people who are willing to help me stay focused on Jesus and His plan, together we will get His work accomplished!
Are you faithful enough, knowledgeable enough, strong enough, brave enough, Christian enough? With all due respect, no, you’re not. But you don’t have to be! Those things aren’t required of you, dear sister. Your responsibility is to choose God. “Yes, Lord,” and He will take care of the rest. “I choose you, Lord; I choose to follow you.” The power, wisdom, courage, endurance, and strength you need will flow to and through you from God. Keep saying yes and God’s perfect plan will unfold around you. Peter didn’t walk on water because of who or what Peter was, but because of who Jesus is.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 …I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.