chapter 1: invitation

I met Tom Boeve, an ENT physician working as a missionary in Kijabe, Kenya, in July of last year. As a part of my work with CLASP International I have been working with him to develop a program for providing medical and audiological services to the hearing impaired population all over Africa. Because I have been praying about how I might be able to move overseas full-time (you know, in a few years…in an abstract way…not now…surely not now), I decided on a whim to e-mail the Boeves to ask about their experience with their sending board. I got a lot more than I bargained for in his response. Before Tom answered my question, he issued an invitation: consider moving to Kijabe to work with him as his audiologist. Soon.

“Let me pray about it.”

Isn’t that what you’re supposed to say when someone puts something like that out there?

I would pray, but I knew immediately that this was the Lord answering one of my most consistent prayers from the last 2 years. I have pestered and bugged and reminded God of this desire countless times since my first trip to Sudan in 2009. I want to save my whole story for another post, but this flame was lit a long time ago and each return to Africa has been like kindling added to the fire. By the time I finished another short-term trip last August, this time to Zambia, the heat from that flame was becoming more unbearable. The Lord was good to bring me to a place where I could only run to Him and ask, in hope, that He would make a way. With the e-mail from Tom, I began to get a fuller understanding of what God has been orchestrating in the last 5 years.

I had already set aside the next weekend to think through the year and look to and pray about what the Lord had for me in the coming season. I thought I would spend that time asking if this was Him, if I could go…but it was so much better than that. His confirmation was so sure and fast that I just got to spend the weekend thinking about my Father’s great generosity and praising Him for pouring it out on me.

So that’s the news, friends! I am officially pursuing a move to Kijabe, Kenya in 2013. There are a million pieces that need to fall into place before the move can actually happen, but I feel confident that this is the Lord’s call on my life in this season and He is working to put them together.

I’m not sure that anyone who knows me well will be surprised by this decision, but I do know that those of you reading may span the range of opinions from this being crazy, impulsive or naive to wondering why it’s taken me this long to get moving. I would be lying if I said that there aren’t scary things about all of this. Yes, there are many things I will be leaving behind, but I’ll be gaining far more than I sacrifice. I don’t know why I get the privilege of using my life in this way to display that my Jesus is worth more than anything I will be giving up here, but I am grateful. I know that wherever He takes me it will get me more of Him and there is no better gift He could offer me. He is my greatest good.