when i initially made my request on twitter for questions on short-term missions, jessica asked me one about my experience in kenya specifically, which i thought i would save for a separate post since it doesn’t quite tie in with the others.
how did you decide to go to kenya?
well, i didn’t.
i joined the team when we were originally planning to go to spain. it would have been my second time going to madrid to teach esl and i was the only person who had been there before.
when that trip fell through, our team leader explored a few different options and the one that panned out was to kenya, performing a variety of evangelistic ministries. this was a lot different than what i had previously done on trips, although it was very much in keeping with my southern baptist upbringing.
but it was to the bush, and if there’s one thing i learned in college, it’s that i don’t do rural. so when jimmy said kenya, my mind was all, “no. no, no, NO. no. just no. i don’t even camp. NO.”
what made the trip a possibility in my mind was the fact that our team leader’s wife, who had been there twice before, said we’d be staying in camp-style accommodations with electricity and running water.*
and somehow in the space of an hour i went from 100% absolutely-not-but-thank-you-for-asking to 95% let’s-DO-this. and apparently i had some wisdom about the Lord bringing this specific group of people together with all their various talents and spiritual gifts, a fact i do not remember in the least but of which one of our team members reminded me while we were actually on the trip.
i’m not really sure at what point i decided for certain i was going, but i do know a critical element in my agreement was the team as a whole seemed receptive and flexible with the change, even that first day, and i felt that, although i had committed to spain, i had also committed to serving with this group of people. and if they decided a trip to kenya was a viable enterprise, then i would offer up my small ability in tandem and let the Lord make of it what He would.
that’s exactly what happened, and i’m unspeakably thankful that i allowed the Lord the space to work on my heart about africa. even just the opportunity to serve with the group of people with whom i went was an opportunity of itself. it was hands down the best mission team on which i have ever served.
*we did not have running water. and yet, i survived!