“When you’re dreaming with a broken heart… waking up is the hardest part…”
I’ve said before that I have this running soundtrack in my head at all times. For days now, I’ve had this song in my head. It’s about a love relationship, but for me it’s been about my dream of going to Africa for years, and my broken faith.
A couple of years ago, I wrote this blog. It was January, 2010, and I spent a lot of that year saving up money for that long awaited trip. I had finally joined a missional church that took trips to Africa several times a year. For years I had longed for this trip, and by the last few months of the year, the trifecta had finally all come together – the time, the money, and the faith. Everything was in place. It was time. It was FINALLY time to go to Africa.
And then God said WAIT — there’s a few other things I need you to do, baby girl.
To say I was heartbroken would not even begin to explain how I felt. It was like a door slamming in my face.
A snowball of things happened in a matter of weeks…
The trip was cancelled. I found another trip, & that one cancelled.
A few more life changing words from God and before long, I was a new student in grad school and a foster mom.
The plan changed. Actually, EVERYTHING changed.
And although it hurt to see Africa disappear right before my eyes, so much beauty came flooding into my life. The Crew was born. ❤
I can remember praying, “ok Lord, but in a couple years, when I’m done with school… Africa.”
Life has been an absolute whirlwind since then. I haven’t let myself think about Africa much. It hurts too much. I’m so grateful God isn’t surprised by our hurts and fears. I’m so grateful that His plan brought me to where I am today, and all of the memories along the way. I’m so grateful for His perfect timing.
SO – a couple weeks ago we’re leaving church and Shanna catches me on the way out. Shanna is amazing. Just check out her page, you’ll see.
She and her husband, Jerome, have SIX children, THREE of them are foster children they are about to adopt. This woman radiates the love of God and all that is His glory. She lives a life of worship.
And she goes to Africa.
As soon as she sees me, Shanna shares with me that she and a couple of ladies are heading to Africa in January. Immediately my heart floods with excitement.
And then, and I hate to say this, doubt pours in.
Since then, God has been showing me my own broken faith. To even think about THINKING ABOUT going just scares me. What if He says “not yet” again? What if the trip cancels? What if it’s too expensive? What if what if what if WHAT IFFFF!!!!
But, gently, God has helped me to dream again.
What if it is time? What if He provides? What if…
What I know is 2 things:
1. If God says no, not yet, baby girl, just wait… well, just look at the last two years. I’m ok with wait. Ok YES, I can definitely wait again – You have totally proven to me that if it’s “wait”, it’s also “look what else I have for you”. I trust You.
2. And if God says yes…
if He says yes,
then I AM GOING TO AFRICA.
PURPOSE: discipleship, evangelism, medical, and whatever else God says. We will be ministering to and staying with the Wellington orphanage in Sierra Leone. If you’ve ever seen Blood Diamonds, that is the war that took the parents of these children and caused them to become orphans. You can go to komeo.org and read about Shanna & Jerome’s long time ministry with these precious children. You can even click on this and see pictures of the children and read their stories. AMAZING.
TIMING: January, which is perfect because after I graduate Dec. 8th I have to wait a minimum of 6 weeks for my candidacy paperwork to go through before I can start work. The kids will go back to school January 4th, leaving about 2-3 weeks of literally NOTHING for me to do.
I also love the idea of going alone. Someday I want to take my whole family – no doubt. But, I know a lot of my attention will be on what they are seeing and experiencing, making sure they are all together, all okay, healthy and safe. But to go just once before that, and experience it all… mmmmm, that would be pretty wonderful.
COST: The trip is $3000. Most of that is airfare, and it does include food.
Normally, we could just save up a few months and it would be no big deal – but since our new house payment has kicked in, & I have no job — my work right now is school – an unpaid internship, so we are temporarily living on 1 income. (Thank God for Chris, he is an incredible provider for our big family!)
So – that means fundraising. As independent as we’d like to be, God is always showing us that we need each other, right?
NO- it’s not easy to ask for help, YES- I would much rather do it all myself.
But I know that I LOOOVE to give to mission trips, God has always given me back more than 10-fold – and I am reminded that not giving my friends and family an opportunity to be a part of this is not ok with God.
Some give much but get back even more, others don’t give what they should & end up poor. Whoever gives to others will get richer. ~Proverbs 11:24
So here’s me asking for your help.
THE MOST IMPORTANT NEED IS PRAYER. Please hear me on this. Right now, you can be a part by just taking a moment to stop and pray for the children, for God’s provision, for health and timing and Shanna’s leadership as well as our husbands and children that we will be leaving for 10-14 days.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth MUCH. James 5:16
GIVING ~~~> If you would like to give toward the trip, you can do so easily online – just put “Stacey Johnson” in the memo. And YES, it is tax deductible!
ANY. AMOUNT. HELPS.
It wasn’t easy to spark up this dream again. I can be stubborn with my heart. But, I have learned by many hard lessons that the very best place for my heart to be is in HIS hands. After a lot of prayer and a tiny bit of faith… I can honestly say, I am grateful God said “wait” back then… I wouldn’t change a thing the last two years of this life. Amazing what God can do in our seasons of waiting…
Thank you in advance, for any prayers or giving you can offer!
Here are just a few of Shanna’s photos… check her page for more or the KOMEO Facebook page <—- don’t forget to like it 🙂
“You will NEVER be the same…never ever.” ~Shanna