I love Ethiopia. More specifically, I love Korah...a leper colony full of beautiful people in horrendous situations. It has been over a year since I've been in Ethiopia and I've been patiently and not so patiently waiting for the right time to go back. A few months ago the time was right to set a date and so we did. September 8-18. It's no exaggeration to say I think about this community of people many times a day and dream about them at night. God has carved out a deep, special place in my heart for them and I literally ache to go back! It looks like I may be taking a friend of mine with me who is a nurse! How awesome is that?! These people can lose limbs or die from even a simple cut that they can't afford to treat, so the prospect of being able to take someone with some medical expertise excites me so much and will be such a blessing to the people in this community where open wounds and sickness run rampant.
I received a few thousand dollar medical bill in the mail a few weeks back and then just yesterday a notice from the IRS saying that the refund we received from them months ago was miscalculated and now we owe them close to $3,000. I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me. What??? Why, God? Really? Why NOW?? To be honest, I've shed some tears over this today. What are we supposed to do when our plans seem to fall to pieces? But, I really believe that the timing is right for me to go. I have seen God provide when things looked literally impossible. So, I would love it if you would join me in praying for provision for this trip to Ethiopia. I need to book my airfare in a few weeks so we'll just see what God will do. I was reminded of Job's story today as I was starting to complain about my circumstances. I love how God answered Job out of a whirlwind in chapter 38:
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'. Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth? Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind? Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together? Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket? Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?"
Wow. Okay, God. I'm not going to question You in the middle of my circumstances. I am going to rely on the One who "provides food for the raven when its young cry out". So, I'm going to trust in the goodness and provision of the God who did all of the above and say with everything in me that He is good and will never disappoint. My circumstances may disappoint, but not Him. Not ever.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate your prayers right now. I am willing to lay down this trip if that is what I am supposed to do, because I just want to be where He wants me. But I also can't shake the strong sense that I am to be in Ethiopia in September, so thanks for joining me in praying for some miraculous provision!! The God who laid the earth's foundation is surely capable! Thanks, guys!