My friend Steve and I were sitting on his back porch the other night and I began to bemoan the things that were not happening with our trip to Kenya. I was griping that our fundraising was not where I’d hoped. I was griping about the difficulty in trying to maintain a private counseling practice and become a missionary, simultaneously. All of this griping was precipitated by the e-mail that I received from Nairobi that morning. To make a long story short, some very gracious missionaries setting our trip up for us quoted me a $1000 room and board fee while we were there. Needless to say, I about fell out of my chair. I said to myself: Self, “When did inflation hit Africa?” So, yes, I was griping about this as well that night with my friend.
He listened. I griped. He listened, some more. I griped, some more. After I finished, he looked at me and said, “O ye a little faith.” To which I said, “Absolutely!!” If you are looking at a dictionary and find the words “O’ ye of little faith,” my picture would be right next to it. I began thinking about what he said throughout the rest of the week. His comments stoked a flame in me. I began to pray to God to give me the strength necessary to make it through this time. It was at this point that my pastor made a pretty insightful comment. He said the reason that we pray for strength is only because we want to be in more control. He said the more appropriate prayer would be to pray for faith.
Becoming a missionary, I’ve found out in a very short time, that it stretches every part of your emotional, physical, spiritual self. God is stretching me right now—and it hurts. I am having to learn that in order to make it as a missionary, I need to lean more on faith in God and less on strength in me. This is tough for me because I’m a pretty independent person, and, furthermore, like to be in control of things.
Later, this past week, the same missionary who quoted me a high price for room and board gave me another quote for housing. This quote came back to be $144. As always, God answers our prayers, just not in our time. I remember a friend of mine said to me once, “God ain’t brought you this far to let you down now.” How true, how true. Now if I can only get that from my head to my heart.