Life with God is a grand adventure and full of surprises! I’m writing this sitting on the deck of a tent at Divine Providence Training Center (DPTC – a pastor’s training center and ministry partner with True Identity Ministries) outside Nairobi, Kenya. I had no idea just one week ago today that I would be here now! With the offer of a paid ticket from someone who was planning to come with a church team and had to cancel at the last minute, and trip costs covered, I accepted and four days later was on a plane to Nairobi!
I’ve been to Kenya three times before doing True Identity ministry and have grown to love the people and the land, but had not planned to return this year. So when this unexpected opportunity came up I felt God smiling on me and saying, “Surprise! I want you to take that newly Swahili translated True Identity workbook to Kenya yourself and instead of Skyping with the TI Kenya team, talk to them in person!” Although thinking this was crazy, I was overwhelmed with delight and gratitude. I then called my husband to tell him about it and ask him how he felt about me going. He said, “Go for it! God obviously wants you to go.” I hung up sitting numbly on the sofa telling myself, “I can do this. God, you must have very specific reasons why you want me to go to Kenya now. I have no idea what you have in store, but I’m excited to go on this adventure with you!” I then went into shock with the realization that I had just four days to prepare for a ten-day trip in Kenya. Normally I had three to four months to plan.
Once I prayed and gathered my wits, I went into warp drive to get ready. Fortunately, my shots are all current and I knew what type of things I needed to take. I got my malaria medication, Kenya clothes and travel items together, and began packing. I emailed various Kenyan True Identity friends and team letting them know I was coming and inquiring if there was a way for us all to meet. For the rest, I was clueless as to what I would be doing once in Kenya, but I trusted the Lord in what HE had planned for this trip, and looked forward to how it would all unfold.
It began to unfold very quickly once I said, “Yes! I am going.” The woman in charge of the trip said she was so happy I was going as they were going to have a day with a Kenyan woman pastor and a group of ladies and asked if I could do True Identity with them? She offered to make copies of our newly translated Swahili True Identity material to bring with for the event. Then another asked if I would share True Identity with the children at an orphanage we would be visiting. And because we would be visiting that orphanage it was in an area where our northern Kenyan True Identity leadership team could come and meet with me, and I could hand the Swahili TI workbook to the translator. I then found out that another woman, who a friend had recently told me about and wanted me to connect with for True Identity, was going on a second available last minute ticket. God was confirming why He wanted me to go!
The trip over was a wonderful time of bonding with the team as we got to know one another navigating through a series of travel “challenges” with flight delays, changed flights, nearly missed connections and lost baggage. When the wheels of the plane touched down in Nairobi 26 hours later, we were triumphantly exhausted and praising God for getting us there safely. (The lost bag made it the following day.)
I have been here for three days now, and each day have met with a DPTC student or alumnae student who we have taken through True Identity on previous trips. They told me how much the TI message has impacted their life and those in their church and community. They have shared amazing things God has been doing in their lives and their desire to continue to teach True Identity to others. They have thanked me and encouraged me to continue the work of TIM. And again, I am praising God for this wonderful surprise trip and the ways in which He is allowing me to hear these testimonies of what He’s doing through the ministry of TI in Kenya. All coming on the heels of a season of questioning the future of TIM and God revealing a new God-sized, humanly impossible ministry plan. He is doing it!
“God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Life with God is a grand adventure when we say, “Yes!” to Him. We may have no clue what the journey will entail, but we can trust the One who is leading us – a heavenly Father who loves us deeply and wants the best for His children. His “surprises” may not always be happy, exciting ones. Sometimes they are very difficult, challenging ones, like a cancer diagnosis or unexpected loss of a loved one, but they are all opportunities to grow in our faith and relationship with God, and see Him use all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). It also gives us the deep joy of being a part of His eternal Kingdom work.
So next time God says, “Surprise!” say, “Yes!” grasp firmly to His hand and trust Him on the grand adventure whether it be through a valley or to a mountaintop. He wants us to live extraordinary lives. I would want it no other way.
For His Glory,