Oh my. It. is. here. In just a few hours I'll be on a plane heading to a country that already has my heart. And though I really should be sleeping, I'm writing. 'Cause that's how it always works... I'm going to try to blog as much as I can throughout the week, but whatever internet connection we might have will be very spotty to say the least, so I may just have to post them all when we get back. But I figured I might as well start now, because my heart is so full I don't think that I'm going to sleep much at all tonight. And hey, it's 9:00am in Ethiopia right now, so I'll be up this time tomorrow anyways. Haha.
I want to live my life sent out for Him, in my community and across the world. Ethiopia is just a step in the journey on which God has me. I want to demonstrate compassion to the people of Ethiopia, to break with, to walk with them. I pray I continue to chase His heart for the world as I follow Him to a beautiful country with precious people whom I am so ready to see face-to-face. I'm humbled and thankful to be His hands and feet, showing His love to a thousand generations.
Lord, it is so, so close. In just a few short hours we will be on a plane heading to this next step in our journey. You have planned everything, Lord, to bring me here. Keep filling me with more of You. Continue to open my heart to Your love and Your people. God, a heart for You is a heart for the world. I want to continue to be broken for the world. It's hard sometimes, to live and admit to brokenness. But when You break our hearts for what breaks Your's, it allows us to open our hearts wider to You and to the world. It enables us to let You step in and work through our brokenness, to bring glory to Your name.
Lord, I pray that I would be open to You on this trip. I pray that You would open my eyes to look beyond situations that seem hopeless, that I would see the providential, redemptive plan You have for each and every adult and child I meet. Father, open my heart. Let me see nothing as a "chance encounter," but instead let me view each person as a child of You and one in need of the hope and grace You give. I want to represent You. I want to be the hands and feet of You. Lord, let me radiate Your love so when Your Ethiopian children look at me, though they may not know my name or understand a word I say, they see You and Your love for them. I pray that in moments when I feel defeated or discouraged, I would cling to You. It is not my job to save souls, only point them to the One who can. Lord, bring laughter and joy- joy that can override any fear that tries to creep in. Continue to bring a spirit of unity and of prayer to our team. Holy Spirit, work in us and through us with every step we take. Send me to this mission field to build relationships. Send me to walk alongside the people of Ethiopia, showing them the only One who can provide lasting hope. Grow my faith as I listen to stories of their faith. Send me to show them You, for You are the One who can release them from any poverty they may be living in spiritually or physically. Lord, remove the poverty in my own soul; seek out the places of dry bones and fill me with You. Breathe Your life into me. Let me live sent each day, each moment of the road You have me on, living in You and for You wherever You call me.