Sunday, 21 July 2013

Falling Faith First

Yesterday we took advantage of our last day living in Nairobi.  I thought at least one thing I should definitely do would be to get a "successful" haircut before we moved.  (If you would like to read about previous haircuts in Egypt, click here.)  Afterward, we went to one of our favorite Japanese restaurants followed by John's choice of movie, "Pacific Rim."  (Oh, my word! If I could just get back those 2 lost hours of my life!)  Annnnnnyway, we hit the ATM, got our last few needed shillings and made the trek back to our house where the final final packing happens.

I wondered out loud to John, "I wonder how we got so casual about moving from country to country?"  This is the same person who used to plan her Christmas parties and gifts 6 months in advance and would panic if things weren't wrapped by December first.  Now here I am typing a note while scanning the room for any last minute things to do. I look at the clock, shrug and say, "Ehhh, I have 7 more hours…" 

I think that's the wonderful thing about walking in faith.  In 2009, it took faith, strength and white knuckles to get me on the plane to Africa.  Every trip outside our apartment in Cairo required grit, prayer and sheer determination.  But each time we took a step, God helped us…sometimes in miraculous ways and sometimes in just normal ways.  It was part of the Faith Fitness Program that I had unknowingly signed up for.

I would liken myself to a 90 pound weakling at the start of all this (spiritually speaking that is).  I had the heart, but not much else.  I felt like that scene from "Rudy" where he walks through the Notre Dame football team (all head and shoulders taller than he is) onto the field and says, "Let's do this!"

Each time I exercised my faith, my "muscles" grew a bit stronger…I began to understand the give and take of developing a healthy spiritual life.  Not to say that I've grown to a buff Jean-Claude VanFaith physique…but I do know that when Jesus nudges me to do something, I can trust Him.  Really trust Him.

So right now…we sense He's leading us to Aswan, Egypt to live among beautiful people who have yet had opportunity to be introduced to Jesus.  The population is around 400,000.  When we visited the city earlier this year, we knew exactly 2 people.  They are a sweet German couple who studied at the same Arabic school we did in Cairo.  They warmly welcomed us and began to introduce us to a variety of wonderful people.  These new relationships have now provided: someone to pick us up at the airport, someone else offering us their apartment until we have ours and still another who will help us with any work or purchases we'll need to make.

Do we know what our days will look like?  No.  Do we have any idea what the political climate will be?  Not really.  Will we even be able to purchase anything we need during Ramadan?  We'll see.  If we knew all the answers, it'd require no faith at all.  And a life that requires no faith will never be extraordinary…no "Rudy" moments…no euphoric cheers…no high fives of accomplishments…just always what's known and who really wants that?

So into the unknown we go!  Step by step, falling faith first…

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