|Enoch Kategaya, pastor, University Baptist Church, Mbarara, Uganda.|
2013: The year of Africa, Harleys, and Rock and Roll.
I want to return to my brothers and sisters in Mbarara, Uganda, in November; be riding a Harley Davidson Softtail Deluxe of my very own by December; and somewhere between now and then on the calendar, do house church with a bunch of musicians (all young enough to be my children).
That's not asking too much, is it?
I don't know.
I don't know for sure if these are the things Papa has penned-in on my calendar, but I think so. I'm hoping. And praying.
I've wanted to return to Mbarara, Uganda, like since forever. (Yes, I do spend my days with tweenagers.) But from almost the moment the plane touched down in Houston following my second trip in '06, Papa has repeatedly whispered no. Sometimes I thought I heard a not now following the no, but other times, just a soft, gentle no.
The Tuesday afternoon of my spring break from the School House, Enoch, my dear African brother who pastors University Baptist Church, Mbarara, messaged me: " . . . am looking for a team to come help me lead a regional women's conference this year. What are your first thoughts?"
First thoughts? I don't hear a no. I don't hear a not now. I'm listening, Papa. Aren't You going to say something?
Second thoughts: BACKFLIPS . . . CARTWHEELS . . . HAPPY DANCE! HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!
I really sensed green lights on this one that afternoon.
Then reality hit.
Someone else planned those other trips. Actually, several someones planned those trips--planning from both this side of the Big Water and the other side of the Big Water. And none of those someones are in either place anymore. My own gifts of organization are limited to writing Bible studies and retreat materials. Absolutely no practical, logistical organizational skills, talents, or gifts present in this ol' gal. NONE. N - O - N - E.
So, fear creeps in. Ummm, did I just say creeps in? Strike that. I'd say it feels more like fear's trying to do rip-open-the-door, gun-in-my-face car-jacking that leaves my body sprawled in the middle of an intersection waiting to be run over by a Mack truck.
After all, who do I think I am to try to put together a trip like this?
What if I misheard my spiritual GPS that afternoon in March? What if the green lights were a product of my own I-soooooo-want-to-do-this! imagination instead of Papa's saying, "Yes, now you may 'Pass Go,' my child."
I start imagining amber caution lights flashing from all sides--you know, amber, the color that appears right before the light ahead turns red. Still, I don't see the red light, and I'm reminded that amber lights don't tell us to stop. They remind us to slow down, to assess the situation before us, and to proceed with caution. (Plus, I know that the Spirit is not the author of fear.)
So for now, I am proceeding with caution (not a natural thing at all for a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal). I'm checking on flights with the travel agent, I'm talking Africa to anyone with listening ears, I'm seeking insight and advice from those who've made the trip more recently. And I'm reminding myself that Papa doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. (So if the lights are truly green, I'm praying for Him to equip me with a Logistics Coordinator!)
What's Papa seem to have penned into your calendar this year? And how are you preparing for that? I'd love to hear!
Next post . . . Harleys!
As always, grins and blessings,