If you haven't already, read Part 1 of this post before reading this one...
So, I arrive at Bible Study that night and the girls are all standing around talking when the doorbell rings. The reason this is significant is because on Tuesday night at Leigh Ann's house, no one rings the doorbell...they just walk on in. When the doorbell rings, you know it's someone who is not part of Bible Study or a visitor. And it was a visitor. The visitor was a gal from the church who I am just getting to know. She had come to visit our group for the first time. How nice! As we sit down to start, prayer requests are being shared. Of course, I have only shared my thoughts on South Africa with a handful of people, mostly trying to figure out if I'm just really wanting an excuse for an exotic trip or if God is really asking me to go. Anyway, I digress. About 1/2 way through the prayer requests, our sweet visitor (I'm not sharing her name here since I haven't asked her permission) raises her hand and asks if she can share a request. Know what she says? She says (and I'm paraphrasing, but not much), "I have been feeling like I should go on a mission trip, but just don't know if God is asking me to or if it's just me wanting to. Can you pray for me to know for sure?"
Seriously...my heart is pounding even as I type this story out. I'm not even joking. She literally said my prayer request and question RIGHT OUT LOUD. Of course, my friends in the study (including Leigh Ann) turned slowly to look at me and I thought my heart would pound out of my chest. It was like God speaking right through her prayer request to me. I felt like I'd gotten my answer.
That evening I went home, told Steve the story and went to the church's sight online to sign up to go to Cape Town, South Africa. And I can tell you that ever since then, I have asked God at least 3-4 times to just confirm again that I should go and each time he has. I don't know why this is such an emotional thing for me. My heart is pounding typing this and my eyes are filling with tears. I guess when I sit down and really think about what I've committed to, it scares me to death. My bestie isn't going with me this time. I have no idea who is going. And it's not a nice Thailand hotel. It's South Africa. And if you know anything about the area, the biggest problem is HIV/Aids. I mean, is there anything scarier?
And obviously, the question on a lot of folks minds, including my own is WHY NOW? Why am I going to South Africa at a point in my life where money is oh so tight and we are living paycheck to paycheck until Steve finds a permanent job? WHY NOW? And my only answer is...
All I know is that God has been very consistent in telling me to do this and I am just going to obey. No, I have no idea where the money is coming from. I will have to trust God to help me raise the $2,600. And that is really hard when you are budgeting for every since dollar you are bringing in. But all I can say is this is what God wants me to do and I'm going to do it. The money will come from somewhere.
The trip is September 24 through October 3. I'll share more details as I get them. I will be posting soon to ask for sponsors for the trip. In the meantime, please be praying for me...US...as I step out on faith.
Oh, and by the way...that gal who was also praying about going on a mission trip? She signed up to go to Hong Kong in July. Seems she also heard a word from the Lord that night in Bible study. :) Isn't God awesome?