Desert to FLOOD. Both are extreme, both are transformative, and both happened to me.
July was, well, dry dry DRY. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, the whole she-bang.
I had done my level best to carry this Africa thing on my own. Didn’t work. Almost took me out in fact. I wound up in a barren place, out of breath with a canteen full of dust.
“I will make her like a desert,
turn her into a parched land and slay her with thirst“
Sounds about right. This wasn’t random, it was a result of my mistrust, my unbelief, my stubbornness, and my utter lack of faithfulness in the God who created my very bones. I have been stuck at 70% of my monthly support-raising goal for ages. By the time July was almost spent, so was my hope of ever making it to Africa. I know it sounds dramatic, but when you are faced with a huge wall of lack that won’t budge, things can quickly become daunting. The forest become a desert. As cracked, dessicant, and awful as it was, I was lead to that place for a purpose… so I would know what living water tastes like. So that I could recognize the hand of my Provider.
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.”
A wonderful man named Steve Valentine always said that when we are down to nothing, God is up to something. Well that little saying just became all kinds of real.
On July 13th, my Grandpa went on to his next big adventure, eternity with God. My Dad and his three brothers came together from all over the country to celebrate Grandpa, and to take care of everything that is left behind after someone leaves this world. My Grandpa was a strong, smart, caring, and generous man. He flew planes in WWII, and collected Meerschaum tobacco pipes, loved roast beef, and was no-nonsense. His caretakers called him “The Commander.” When I went to Africa the first time he sent a nugget of advice along with his hefty donation… “Take some Deet, and don’t forget the Kaopectate.” A practical man indeed.
At the very end of July, my Dad returned from the funeral and time with his brothers with some news. Grandpa had left his entire estate to his family, and that turned out to be a lot. Before his health declined, he had expressed wanting to be a donor for my new life in Africa. My dad wanted to honor Lord and Grandpa, and thus committed helping open the floodgates to God’s unique plan of provision. Not only that, but all this month, I have had new donors come out of the woodwork that I had previously written off. God is up to something, the waters are springing up from the ground… and I am all but swimming.
With God infront of me, and the family of God beside me, I will hopefully land safely in Kenya on October 1st…. OCTOBER FIRST!!!!!!!! AH! That means that September 27th is my last day in Montana. Woah. The rains just came like a hurricane. All I can do is stand with my arms to the skies. I am so happy things didn’t happen the way I imagined they would… but that I was surprised by God’s unique hand. He is up to something, the proof is in the water.
“The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.