Don’t Send Me to Africa
By Lysa TerKeurst
2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (NIV)
Since I was a little girl, I’ve had a heart for the people of Africa. To be honest though, I didn’t want to be a missionary who lived in a hut, ate grubs fried on an open flame, and wore tribal headdresses. So, while I prayed for the people of Africa, I would always throw in, “But Lord don’t send me.” I can just imagine God smiling and looking back at me saying, “Really Princess? You don’t want to go to Africa…fine. Then I’ll send Africa to you.”
And that’s exactly what He did. One night while attending a concert by the Liberian Boys Choir, God clearly spoke to my heart and told me that two of those boys were mine. I tried to ignore Him, but to no avail. At the end of the concert, two of the boys walked straight up to me, wrapped their arms around me, and called me, “Mom” After months of prayer and piles of paperwork, we went to pick up our two sons, Mark and Jackson…Africa had come to our home.
No longer was the plight of the starving orphans in Africa a nameless face on TV, they were precious children who deserved a second chance. Not only did we think so, but also the people of my church soon felt moved to also adopt children from Liberia. Today, as I walk up to church on Sunday mornings I am always moved by the precious sight I see. A little white hand holding a little black hand, a brother and sister skipping and laughing together! And something in my heart just knows this is the way it’s supposed to be.
This is the way the body of Christ is supposed to work. God speaks, we listen, He confirms, we obey, and He gives us the strength to do amazing things. I love the verse, 2 Chronicles 16:9, because it brings a picture to my mind of God standing in front of a crowd of people asking, “Who is willing to do an amazing assignment for me?”
Many shrug away and make excuses. But one little girl jumps up and in complete abandon says, “Me Lord! Me! Pick me! I am willing!” Then God smiles, scoops her up, brings her into his loving embrace, and whispers back, “Well done my child…I am so pleased. You have made the good choice. I will give you the strength to do this. Do not be afraid, I will be with you.”
Dear Lord, let me always be that little girl with the up-stretched arm and obedient heart. God give me the wisdom to know Your voice and the courage to say “yes” to whatever You ask of me. My greatest desire is to walk with You all the days of my life. I don’t want to settle for the good life. I want the great life, where I live the adventure You created my soul to live.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.