Friday, July 16, 2010

No promise



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“Do you mean you think everything will come right…? I don’t know about that,” said Puddleglum. “You see, Aslan didn’t tell Pole what would happen. He only told her what to do. “- The Silver Chair, by CS Lewis

We have all the Chronicles of Narnia on CD, and for some reason my kids have been listening to The Silver Chair over and over and over. It never was my favorite book in the series. But I did wonder if maybe there some higher purpose for their choice, so I didn’t tell them to switch it.

The theme of this book is obedience. And a journey. And unexpected happenings along the way. And the importance of remembering the words of Aslan to know what to do on the journey. And about not getting distracted from one’s purpose.
Yes, maybe it was ordained. My next mission trip to Liberia is July 20th- August 10th, less than a week away, and little else has been on my mind for weeks.

What I learned on the last two trips to Africa: It is never what I expect. Twice now I have had this picture in my mind of how it was going to be when I got there, but then, it wasn’t like that at all. Am I more prepared this time? Hopefully, but there is still the unknown factor. All journeys are different, even when they go to the same places.

The themes of this trip are Meeting-people-and-building-relationships-so-hopefully-I can-start-a-clinic, Helping-with-The-Liberian-Youth-Conference-for-oh-my-word-six-hundred young people, Teaching-water-purification-for-the-first-time, and last but not least, Yes-I-actually-am-the-female-chaperone-for-the-American-girls-on-the-ministry-team.

At least, that is what I think the themes are. By the end of the trip I may have some different themes to report. That’s what happened last time. On my first trip to Liberia last summer I ended up spending way more time in the kitchen helping with the feeding program than I ever dreamed I would. On my trip to Senegal this spring, I had lots more down time than I was comfortable with. On both trips I encountered some unexpected trials. But these things were good, or rather, good for me and for others. And I trust that whatever the theme of this trip is will be good too, even if it isn’t what I expect.

“Will you promise not to do anything to me if I do come?” asked Jill.

“I make no promise,” said the Lion.