Currently I’m in Lusaka, the Capital City of Zambia. The last few days have been a blur of activity. Maybe only this afternoon have things slowed down a little to allow us to begin to realise we are in another country. It’s always this way when you travel. I’m not sure that my preparation for this trip has been ideal. Maybe I had too many things happening at once. Somehow I always manage to “arrange” things this way. From packing up our own house, finishing off the welsh cottage renovation to actually packing to come away, it was a frenetic time of activity. All of that has meant that my mind has not really centred on our task, until I was actually on the plane, and then to be honest I was too tired to think about it.
I spent last Friday visiting my Dad before we came away. I always enjoy visiting my Dad, especially with the kids. It gives a time to be with the family. However, last Friday was different, we ended up taking a drive around the Wirral, down the very same lanes and roads I used to cycle down when I was growing up. We had an ice cream at Parkgate, at ‘Nicholl’s Famous Ice Cream’ Parlour, overlooking the Dee Estuary. That parlour, having an ice cream outside is the last place that I ever saw my mother alive. A week later I was looking at her lifeless body in the living room of my parent’s council house. It’s also the place where a cute photo of Ethan was taken with a very large ice cream and his big smiling face. It’s one of my favourite memories of his childhood. Then it was off to the lanes of Brimstage and the infamous corner where my friend Ben skidded off the road in his yellow mini, with all of us in of course. I got the blame for that escapade for some reason, if Pam Toan ever reads this I wasn’t guilty. I was traded in by Ben for a lesser punishment I think. It was a strange day, almost sentimental in fact. Now I can get that way sometimes, but I wandered what makes us, us? What combinations of experiences and thoughts makes us who we are. It says in the Bible that God has, “cradled us in our mothers womb”, and that he knows us from afar. It also talks about him ordering the steps of a righteous person. God has been involved in all of my steps, all of the places I have been. He has shaped me in certain situations, good and bad. This is very encouraging for me. I’m fro quite humble beginnings and it gives me great faith to think that the lord himsefl has ordered my steps.
So I find myself in Zambia, with my family. We’ve spent 24 hours here and well as yet, our work does not exist. However, I want to make the decision to trust and to have faith in the same God that has ordered my life so far. In the next few days, I hope and pray that the work will begin to unfold in front of us. We have a rough plan, and we look forward to seeing the Lord fill in all of the gaps. I’d be lying if I said that I never felt any hesitancy of trepidation about our time. I think it is only natural to feel that. However, Jude and I will look to the Lord for the way forward that he is leading us in. We believe that he has called us to make a difference here. Maybe from humble beginnings, great things will come….