Thursday, March 29, 2012


I've shared before the exciting news about my daughter's upcoming trip to Africa. You've heard my side of the story, now here's her side of the story:

Anna2 resized

Dear Friends and Family:

If you haven’t heard yet, the Lord has told me to go back to Africa this summer. You may think, “What?!? Anna was just in Africa in January. Why is she going back so soon?” I know that the Lord told me to, and He told me even though I wasn’t asking (more on that below). Would you please pray for me? Please pray for the Lord to provide for me to go (I need to raise $5,475 by May 18th), to protect me before, during and after the trip (physically, emotionally and spiritually) and to prepare me for this trip so that His kingdom will be spread through me and in me. If the Lord puts it on your heart to give, or someone asks you how to give, please send donations to Adventures In Missions (more information follows at the end of this letter). Now, why am I going on this mission trip and what will I be doing?

Maybe you're surprised, maybe you're not. I know I was very surprised (to put it mildly). I'd heard about this trip last year, mentioned as a "would you be interested in..?" by an Adventures in Missions staffer that I know. However, knowing that I'd already be going to Swaziland with my family, I said, “no” and didn’t give it a second thought. Then, right after New Year's I found out that one of my best friends had signed up for this Expeditions trip and she jokingly asked me to come along. I said, “no” again and laughed it off. But about a month later, when my mom and aunt asked about the trip, I finally figured that maybe the Lord was saying something to me and decided to consider it.

So what will happen on this trip? Basically, I will be backpacking with a team as well as using other methods of travel to get from place to place in eastern Africa. Specifically Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, around Lake Victoria. To be honest, I can't give a lot of details about what we'll be doing because there aren't alot of details. I do know we'll be staying at some homesteads with locals, ministering at the hospitals, helping at churches, etc. I'm holding out for working at a refugee camp, especially when I found out that Kenya has the world's largest camp, with more than 450,000 people. This is what Adventures In Missions has to say about the trip:

"Pack lightly! Your expedition will take you through Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya as you share the love of Christ with those you meet along the way. Be prepared for a life of simple living, since the goal of this trip is total immersion into the way of African life.
You will eat what they eat.
You will live in their villages.
You will walk with them.

You’ll be sent out like the disciples were. Jesus told them to travel light and to heal the sick, preach that the kingdom is near, and to cast out demons. This might happen as you play with children, or visit a hospital, or meet the neighbors and pray for them. You may be called upon to lead worship services, devotionals and small group meetings; preach; teach, and disciple youth. You’ll evangelize to large groups and at an individual level."

I was still really hesitant about signing up, especially because this trip is going to cost $5,475 on paper, but in reality probably closer to $6,000 or more, but at my mom's urging I did think about it and prayed about it, totally expecting to hear nothing and that be the end of it. But, of course, that wasn't how it happened. I had my iTunes music library on shuffle, and every single song that played was along the lines of, "I will waste my life" "I will go" "Come away oh my soul" and the like, which when there's more than 5,000 songs in your library, is kind of remarkable. So I turned off my music and just silently prayed for wisdom, and it started to seem like the only possible thing I could do with my summer was "waste" it on another missions trip to Africa. Every Bible verse I read just served to enforce what I was feeling, that I was supposed to go on this trip. I told God (since I really felt like he was saying "go" but when I kind of wanted him to be saying "no") that whether I went or not would have to depend on my dad. Whatever he said was the final word.

Ironically enough for me, my usually opinionated and decisive father told me he "didn't feel anything about it one way or another, so I'd have to pray about it myself and ask God for a specific confirmation. A walk on water type moment." Which really wasn't what I wanted to hear at all, but since I'd already promised that I would abide by whatever my dad said, I agreed to do just that.

I went up to my room, wrote down in my journal the verse where Peter asks Jesus to tell him if he should walk on water or not, paraphrased it to fit my needs, and promptly was distracted by the television. The next day I started my morning devotions with a purpose, which was not to jinx or fix in any way what I might hear from God by reading anything that might pertain to missions. I have a friend who sends me daily Bible verses that are usually rather random so if I have nothing better, I'll read the chapter those are found in, to try and get some context. The verse she sent me that day was from John 4, and after seeing that the majority of the chapter deals with Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well, I decided to read that, fully confident it had nothing to do with missions or anything of the kind. Instead, what I found was this: "Then Jesus replied, 'My nourishment comes from doing the will of God...Wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages and the fruit they harvest is people, brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both...'" and everything just followed suit after that.

The long and short of it was I know that I know that I know that I'm supposed to be on this trip. It's probably going to be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Just spending two months with people I don't know will be worse than pulling teeth to me. But this is what I'm supposed to be doing with my summer.

As I mentioned earlier, this trip is not cheap. And I've already missed the mark to turn in fifty percent of the money. Please let me know if you’ll be praying for me as that is so important. Also, if the Lord puts it on your heart to give towards this mission here is the address and website where you can give (don't forget to put my name in):

Adventures In Missions
P. O. Box 534470
Atlanta, GA 30353-4470

...or go to Select "Passport" then type in "Anna MacLellan". The prompts will lead you the rest of the way.

Thank you all so much,
Anna MacLellan

Anna Resized

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