Although I don’t plan to necessarily go in chronological order, I decided that I would start near the beginning for this week’s post. My fellow journey-folk & I had 6 weeks of boot camp, er training, in Virginia in the summer of 1986, then were sent home to get ready to head to our respective countries. I was in awe of the folks headed to China & West Africa – those destinations seemed a lot scarier than mine. I was assigned to work in Harare, Zimbabwe – I wasn’t even going to be in the bush!
Zimbabwe denied my work permit – rightly saying that they didn’t see why a Zimbabwean couldn’t do the work of secretary-bookkeeper. I waited for four months before the Foreign Mission Board was able to find me a new assignment – Lusaka, Zambia. I found out in November – and after sending all of my paperwork to the Lusaka Baptist Mission twice (they obviously needed my services LOL), I set out on my grand adventure on a plane flying out of the Charlotte, North Carolina airport. Here is what I wrote in my journal that day:
Tuesday, January 13, 1987
I feel very alone now. God, are you there? Give me strength. Strength to face my impracticalities and do something about them. My carry-on bag will not fit – so I must check it in Atlanta. Why does that bother me so much? Because it makes me feel foolish and I don’t like feeling foolish.
Saying goodbye is so hard. I can see Mom & Dad standing at the window and that’s when I start to cry. I’m not supposed to cry – this is my adventure. A year and a half isn’t so very long. It’s time for me to grow up.
Sometimes I wonder if I set things in motion just because I know I won’t stop it – and I know it’s good for me. Is this really God’s will for my life? Can I really know the answer?
I ended up being able to carry my bag onto the plane in Atlanta – the stewardess was VERY helpful. And this was a good thing, because the airline lost my luggage. But that’s a story for another day…