trying something new
I remember being at my Granddad's home when I was in early elementary school. I was in the back bedroom. I wish I could remember more details of the room. I think the carpet was red and shaggy, and I know there was a globe on a table near the bed. I'm pretty sure every girl has played the "where will I be a missionary" game, right? You spin the globe as fast as you can and you gently rest your finger on the map. You wait for it to stop. The country under your finger determines when it stops tells where you will be a future missionary. Okay, maybe you didn't imagine being a missionary, but maybe it was where you would live or go on vacation when you grew up. Anyways, the first time I played it I was with my older sister. When I think back on that day, I remember giggling at all of the names of the countries, and imagining hugging little children. I might've even attempted to get a chuckle out of my sis by doing a silly tribal dance.
It's not like I reaaally thought about missions a lot when I was a kid. I went to a small private Christian school in elementary school. The teachers were amazing, and taught stories of heroes that seemed to fearlessly share Christianity with others. I promised I would never forget the truth and courage of them.
I do have one more early memory of missionaries. I was at a summer camp in junior high. I was sitting with a group of friends discussing our plans to go to the pool after our morning assembly. A counselor mentioned chaperones and that a pastor/missionary would be going with us. A kid in my group said, "Wha? Pastors and missionaries don't go swimming in pools! I mean, uh, will his swimsuit have crosses on it or something?" He was totally for real, not even kidding.
So, fast forward a bit. I've had several friends go overseas to pursue missions. Some are church planters. Others work at orphanages and camps. I even have friends that help train pastors and teachers in other countries. Oh! I also went on a missions trip to Bolivia back in my college days.
Yeah, I pretty much thought I had a good grasp on a Biblical worldview of world missions, and especially a good foundation on how to love others.
I'm not sure that I did though.
I somehow ended up on a plane to Johannesburg 2 weeks ago. I got off that humongous aircraft to get on a wee tiny bird that I rode to Manzini, Swaziland. I'm still not sure what gave me gumption to do it. Yes, I passionately believe it was a supernatural leading from my Creator loaded with tons of support from my family and friends. I just still cannot believe it happened. Gumption is just not something I usually carry around with me. Even if I did have it, then I would probably hide it under the bed or leave it in the car.
We (my dear friend Jennifer and I) were greeted with big hugs from our missionary friend, Amy (she doesn't wear swimsuits with crosses, I promise). She had warned us that our hearts would be changed and wrecked after our trip. Our little missionary friend was right.
I sipped on Rooibos tea with Amy and Jennifer. I
I'm not really sure what direction this blog will take. The next few entries will most certainly be about my trip to Africa, but after that? Who knows? I'm pretty crazy about my husband and kiddos. The youth at The Church at Shelby Crossings kinda rock my socks. They might be featured on here a time or two. I have been given many opportunities to photograph people and events (hopefully that won't stop), and I'll probably feature a few photos from them. I might just share life with you all. I'm beginning to think that's why folks blog, right?
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17
Oh Alli... I love your blog. I love that I can hear your voice while reading it. I love that you put your own Alli-isms in this. For real. This is going to be a treat to peek into your heart. Keep up the awesome writing!
What an incredible blog! I love hearing your stories and reading them is just as much fun!
Thanks for being willing to share. It takes guts to share your heart like this. Love you always!
Yay! I love that u are blogging again my sweet brave friend! Can't wait to read more.
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