With tears in her eyes, my sweet grandma asked me in a halting voice, “You’re not going to Africa are you?”
“No, Grandma, I’m not going to Africa, just to Texas,” I replied with a lump in my throat.
She was one of the most important people in my life. When my mom was at work, she was the one who stepped in to drive my sisters and me to and from school and other activities. She was the one who sat outside in her car as I took piano lessons for ten years.
In more ways than I can name, she waited on me. Now, I was breaking her heart.
Since I was soon to graduate from the University of Alabama, I had to break the news to her about how I believed God had called me to attend seminary. It meant I’d be making a move from Tuscaloosa, AL to Fort Worth, TX (which may as well have been Africa as far as she was concerned, thus the tears.)
Since that day long ago, Africa has never, ever been on my radar screen as a place I wanted to go or felt any since of calling to visit. Until now.
Something amazing, inexplicable, God-ordained and God-orchestrated happened last year during a speaking engagement I had in California. Those events have snowballed into today, when I’ve spent most of the day packing my bags for a trip to Kenya.
I’ll be working with a ministry to Kenyan orphans called “Discover the World” in Nairobi and Eldoret. This girl who’s never had Africa on her radar screen cannot wait to go.
As I’ve been packing today, I can’t get away from that far away conversation.
Grandma, who would have thought it? Your Debbie really is packing to go to the far away land of Africa.
I can’t help but wonder what she would think…. and I can’t wait to see what the LORD has in store while I am there.