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.

7 thoughts on “chapter 1: invitation

  1. To our dear sweet baby girl,
    Words cannot begin to express the pride we feel to have such a wonderful Christian young woman as our daughter. Following the call of God is far what we have always instilled in you as you grew up.,
    After you told us on Dec. 23 when you told us you were going to Kenya, we have had such mixed emotions. We are so excited for, a little nervous, and your silly mom is kind of selfish but Me and God are working on that one!!!
    I am sure you know this but we support you 100% in this decision to follow God’s plan for your life even though it’s a huge change. We will do whatever we can to help you prepare for your move.
    God is so good and He will make this change go smooth because you are doing His will.
    We love you so much and are so proud of you! You wil probably get tired of us between now and the time you move because we want to spend as much time with you as we can,
    We love you!d
    Mom and Daddy

  2. Loved reading your log and getting to be a part of this adventure with God that you are starting on. Having been on a similisr adventure with God (31 years in Africa, last 7 in Kenya) I want to affirm your decision. As you have committed to do the work He shows you to do I can assure you of His perfect care and provision. I don’t think anyone should call your decision “crazy” or “implusive” or “naive”–Just obedient! I want to commit to pray for you on a regular basis and through prayer join you in this wonderful opportunity to be used of God. By the way, you don’t know me but your Mom does.

    Love and Prayers,
    MaryDean Phillips

    • MaryDean and Billy Ed were a very important part of my life growing up. During that time, they went into the mission field. They worked with the youth and everywhere else in the church and I went lots of places with them!!! So many memories!
      I knew the minute you told dad and I that I wanted them part of your support system.
      Love you sweetheart!

  3. Very exciting!! I hope to one day go into missions with my husband, but we haven’t felt the pull to leave just yet. I can’t wait to hear about all your adventures in getting ready and while you are there. I hope you will be able to keep the blog up while there.

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