I lift up my eyes to the hills~ where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
Go… Such a little, itty bitty word, isn’t it? Short….sweet…benign….”Go see why the dog is barking.”……”Go get me a sandwich.”….or, occasionally, for the benefit of my children’s character and my sanity…”Go to your room!”. Regardless, it always has the same meaning.
From one place to another.
For me, I don’t think this itty bitty word has ever had as much meaning as it did on the day in December when I sat in church and listened to Diana Wiley talk about True Vinyard Ministries (TVM), an organization dedicated to empowering African women in Rwanda by hiring local women, providing them with meaningful work, paying fair wages so that they may educate their children…and offering hope. And as I sat there listening to Diana speak, I had what I’ll call a moment. A moment where I felt that itty bitty word.
A little back story here. I have never thought of myself as a super “churchy” person. I’m not a hands in the air kinda gal. The idea of evangelizing to others makes me want to break out in hives. And those moments other people talk about where God called them to do this or the Lord told them to do that? It’s never happened to me. Not once. I’ve never heard a voice in my head telling me to go left instead of right on the way home. I’ve never prayed and received an audible answer. I’m not saying these things don’t happen…they just don’t happen to me. And they didn’t happen that day in church. There was no angelic of chorus of voices. No glorious trumpet call followed by a booming voice. There was no voice at all. Instead, it was a small, gentle, almost imperceptible and certainly easily ignorable…what? Nudging? Maybe. Stirring? Possibly. Just the itty-bittiest of feelings that said…
I think the presentation of this nudging in the form of a question is important. There are many times when the direction in which God wants our lives to go is easily discernible (Feed and clothe the children today? Yes. Rob a bank? No.), when He makes clear to us that we should do this rather than that. But I believe there are also times when He approaches us more gently and says, “I want the best for you. I want this for you.” We are then in a place where we can decide if we are going to jump in or walk away. Gotta love free will.
I will post more later about the emotional roller coaster that followed as I wrestled with this itty bitty word but, long story short, I decided to jump. I will be traveling with TVM to Africa in July of this year to serve the women of Rwanda as they break the cycle of poverty (more details to come later!). The ups and downs of coming to the decision to join this ministry team inspired the title of this blog, as did the scripture from Psalms. Rwanda is often referred to as The Land of a Thousand Hills, due to it’s undulating terrain. Coming to the decision to take this leap of faith has been filled with ups and downs, lots of praying and a few tears. I have to give credit for the idea of starting this blog to Lee, who suggested I try blogging for the first time. I figured…what the heck….I’m going to Africa for goodness sake. Blogging will be a cake walk.
I hope to use this blog as a place to share my experience as I prepare for this trip over the next few months, and my experience in Africa once we get there. I also hope to bring awareness of TVM (and the phenomenal work they are doing to restore dignity to and empower the women of Rwanda) to people who may not have heard of them or who are looking for a charity to support.
I look forward to sharing this experience with you.
Going is always easier when you’re with friends.