Wednesday, October 17, 2012

South African Conference.

Conference center in Simonstown, South Africa.
Before I left for Mozambique I was looking into various missions conferences around the world, and I happened to stumble across one in South Africa.
 
"South Africa?! Why isn’t that next to Mozambique?" I thought to myself. 

So I looked it up on a map and sure enough they were right next door. I figured since I missed the one in Kenya earlier this year (as I wasn’t able to leave S. Sudan at that time), that I’d tag on this conference to the end of my Vision Tour trip to Moz.

Part of my thinking at the time was “Why not?”, but more importantly than that I felt compelled to go. God prodded me until I signed up and booked the flights.

However when I signed up for the week long conference, admittedly the South Africans on the other side of the computer screen were a bit confused. Had we spoken in person, this is how the conversation might have sounded.

-- “Which church are you from?”
-- “Calvary Chapel Mesquite, NV.”
-- “But that’s in America...”
-- “Yes. But I’ve been working as a missionary in Africa for the last two years.”
-- “And you are going to come ALL this way for the conference?”
-- “Yep. I’ll be in Mozambique for a missions trip anyway...”
-- “Okay.” Long pregnant pause. “I guess we’ll sign you up then.”

Naively, I thought since I was flying in and out of Johannesburg that I’d be able to simply rent a car and drive to the conference.

I was wrong.

Johannesburg is nowhere near Cape Town. When I learned it would be roughly 15 hrs driving, I decided to catch a flight instead.
    -- Who knew South Africa was so big?

I didn’t know what to expect when I got on the plane for the coast though. I figured I’d just go with the flow and figure things out as I went. In my head I'd rent a car when I got there and drive myself to the conference.

Karen and Demitri Nikiforos.
However, God went before me and prepared things perfectly. Those in Cape Town organizing the event (who I would later learn are the pastors of Calvary Chapel Cape Town --Demitri and Karen Nikiforos) blessed me over-abundantly long before I even arrived.

They had someone pick me up at the airport! They got me a ride on a chartered bus to Simonstown where the conference was being held! And then after it was over, they made sure I made it back to Cape Town in style, then offered me a bed in their home for the night!

I absolutely fell in love with them!

(Funny side note: once I landed I learned that I was not at a missions conference but a pastors and leaders conference! ha ha! No wonder they were so confused I was coming. :- ) 

Jeanne Claycamp and me.
But the divine appointments and exciting encounters don’t stop there; so much happened during that week that I’m finding it hard to write them succinctly.

Would bullet points suffice?         

Hardly.

How do I describe the beautiful facilities... and even more beautiful brothers and sisters in the Lord that I met along the way? How do I explain the timely and apropos teaching from the pulpit ... or the anointed worship?

It was so refreshing. So healing. So sweet.

But more than anything, it allowed me time to sit at His feet and listen. What was I listening for, you ask? Simple. I was only asking one question.

Do I go back to Mozambique or not?

The cracked open door was nice but it certainly wasn’t a neon sign. I wanted confirmation. If I am going to head off to Africa, learn two new languages, battle with government officials, and re-open an abandoned hospital, I wanted to know two things.
  • One. That this is His will for my life.
  • Two. That He is coming with me.
Much like Moses I kept crying out, “Lord unless you come with me, I’m not going.”
And not unlike Joshua I was feeling fearful to enter the land. There are hundreds more qualified and capable. Why me?

---“Lord... are You sure you want me to do this? We are talking about ME here. You and I both know I have the grace of a bull in a china cabinet... forget china shops!”
-- “Yes child. I know you very well. I made you this way. I have a purpose for you there.”
-- “What purpose?”
-- “You’ll see... but remember you are a bulldozer not a bull. You level mountains. You dig up stones. You make things move. That is what is needed there... for this season.”
-- “So... you are sending me there long-term. Is it my final destination?”
-- “Yes and no. Yes, you will be there for a time but I’m not planting you there permanently.”
-- “What do you mean? I thought this would be my final stop.”
-- “Remember,” He chided, “I created you. I know your purpose. You’re my bulldozer. You’ll be there a time, hand things over, then I’ll use you somewhere else.”
-- “But Lord,” I whined, “I want stability. I want to be planted.”
-- “You’ll have that for a season,” He explained, “but eventually, I’ll move you on. I created you for digging not planting.”
-- “Yes. Lord.”

I won’t bore you with the rest of the conversation I had with Him. Let me just say He spoke. He spoke in whispers. He spoke in prophecies. He spoke in scripture.

He spoke.

I’m to go to Mozambique.

But even better news... He’s coming with me!

Yippy!

I’ll stop my story there for now. Just know that I’m thrilled to pray and prepare for Mozambique. Will you please pray with me?

I have a number of boxes to tick on my prayer list.
  • Set up an account with Shepherd’s Staff again so donors can give through them
  • Paperwork for work visa (Police clearances for Philippines, Haiti and Sudan in particular)
  • Finances (Language school fees, vehicle, one-time moving expenses, monthly support, etc.)
  • To know which schools/intensive courses to attend for the Shona & Portuguese
  • Raise the salary for the Mozambican nurse I'll be hiring
  • Car to use in the States through December (as I’d like to be back in Moz by January).

Thank you so much for praying!