And incredibly, safe and without crashing the rental car.
Listen, it has been 23 years since I drove on the left side of the road. You add to that the unique crazyness that is the state of most African roads, my lack of recent experience in driving a stick shift up and down mountains, and an intense two day flight from the U.S. and you can understand why I am totally praising God for taking care of us!
AYE-YI-YI! I bet He had our angels working overtime.
Anyway, we are here. We had good flights and a lovely, long, layover in Frankfurt, Germany, which allowed us to spend the afternoon walking around part of the downtown area. We ate in a tower that was hundreds of years old, bought amazing pastries, saw many beautiful buildings, posed with a Batman mannequin (well, at least Betsie and Anna did), walked over a beautiful bridge, and made it back in plenty of time to catch our flight to Africa. I was very, very nervous about leaving the airport but forced myself to do it because the rest of my crew wanted to go. I would have very easily sat in the airport for the whole day, but I'm glad I didn't. I'm glad I did not let my worrywart, fearful side keep me from enjoying the experience with my girls and Rhonda.
All too often, I'm afraid I have let this side prevent me from doing some things that though they might take me out of my comfort zone, have been so worth it.
And back to the crazyness of me driving here in Africa. I have been really nervous about this whole prospect. But in order for me and these gals to be able to come to Swaziland and do the exploring and getting around that we need to do, it required me getting over my fears, trusting God, and acting.
Once again, it has reminded me that God has not given me a spirit of fear. When I let fear ---- whether it is rational or irrational --- control my life, then I'm limiting the ways that God can use me for His kingdom and the ways He can bless my life.
We don't have to look far to see folks who did some scary things but God used them in big ways.
Ruth who left her homeland and traveled with her dead husband's mother to a strange country. She ended up meeting an incredible man and became one of the ancestor's of Jesus.
Esther was a Jewish maiden who was thrust into the royal household, became the wife of a king who could have had her killed for no good reason, and was asked to help save the lives of the entire Jewish population. Just her making a request to her husband could have resulted in her death. But she did it and God used that to save His people.
David was just a shepherd boy. He was the youngest of his family. God called him to fight Goliath, a literal giant. And then made him king over all of Israel.
Often times we are faced with big challenges. Even dangerous ones. We all are given the choice of saying "no" based on fears or saying "yes" based on faith.
God has brought me a long way from the scaredy cat I used to be, after all, I live nearly fearlessly in inner-city Jackson, a city with one of the highest murder rates in the nation. I still have a long way to go, though, in the area of living by faith for the Lord. I still have small, petty fears but I also have big ones.
But regardless if they are small or big, they are not too big for God to overcome. If I let those fears hold me back, then I'll be missing a whole lot of things He has planned for me. And as a good Father, I need to trust that those things are worth the stepping out and just doing, even if I'm shaking in my oh-so-fashionable boots those first few feet.
Two main prayer requests so far for our Swaziland trip:
1. PLEASE pray continued safety as we drive around Swaziland and that God will help me think clearly.
2. Pray that we'll make all the connections God wants us to make, be sensitive to the people He wants us to spend time with, pray for, bless, and that we'll hear and see what we need to hear and see as we seek His will about what our life should look like in Swaziland once we move here.