If you read my last post you know that I am praying about an opportunity to travel to Durban, South Africa. I never thought I would be the kind of person God would call to the mission field. I went on a short mission trip to NYC a couple years ago. I thought it would be a great idea since it was in the US and not as intimidating. I expected to feed the homeless on the streets of New York and hang out in the Big Apple for a few days. It was so much more than that! I watched God do some incredible things through listening to the stories of the men in the Bowery Mission's discipleship program and watching God provide food for the community. I heard stories of what God was up to and listened to testimonies from people whose lives had been changed in such radical ways that it could only have been by the grace of God.
One of my favorite stories I brought back from that trip was a huge example of God's provision. Certain days the mission goes out into the community and gives groceries to low-income families who would usually be choosing between paying the electricity bill and buying groceries for their family. We helped as the staff and students from the mission loaded up a huge box truck with food. At one point I looked around the store room that had been full of vegetables, fruits, breads, and other various foods and realized we were loading EVERYTHING into the truck.
I was a little concerned, after all the mission still had mouths to feed for lunch and dinner that night, not to mention the days after that. I didn't understand why they would take everything. So I asked! The student I asked just smiled and reassured me that there would be a truck waiting for us to unload when we got back.
We went out and gave away every last bit of that food, including hot stew and bread, and even walked through a nearby park and handed out sandwiches to somewhat skeptical but very appreciative people!
The whole time I was quietly wondering what they were going to manage to feed the people at the mission for dinner that night since we had cleaned them out. I remember riding back to the mission in the back of the truck and almost being crushed by empty crates that were once full of food.
When we pulled up in front of the mission, I climbed out of the truck and was met with an even bigger truck already in the process of unloading food into the mission. Not only did it replace what we had taken earlier, but it far exceeded what had been there before!
Growing up in a middle class family, I never wanted for anything. We always had food in the pantry and new clothes to wear. I had never known God as a provider before that trip. What a great way to see God provide in such a huge way!
I committed to going yesterday, and today am overwhelmed with a mixture of excitement and fear! I am expecting God to show up in huge ways in the course of preparing and going on this trip and I can't wait to tell you all the stories of his provision and unfailing love for me, the rest of the ladies on the trip, and the people of Durban, South Africa!
Please be praying for us in the months to come as we prepare, fund raise and learn to be the hands and feet of Jesus!
Stay tuned for more updates!