In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

A new season at last!

So why did it take such a long time to turn?

My last 3 month volunteer trip to Africa, rewarding though it was, drained me. When my flight disembarked in Scotland I was spent. Physically, mentally, emotionally, financially. I still nursed a desire to hug and heal motherless children, but I needed time and space to rest and, I was sure, to ponder my future direction. That took longer than I planned.

I returned as a weary traveller. I needed an oasis. Didn't find it. Took that as a sign; I was not supposed to rest and I was not supposed to be comfortable. I never did take my eye off the goal (which was to go back to Africa), but soon I became lost on the way.

I was glad to be back: I lamented my disconnection with western culture and so, even as I prayed that God would light a path for me to follow, I rhymed off countless pseudo-logical reasons for not setting off on the journey (yet).

I don't want to stay but maybe I need to roll with it. I can't afford to go just now.... Surely, after all, I would be more useful if I went long-term and that will cost... I wish I could go but I don't want to be a burden in Africa.....

... so doesn't it make more sense to develop my nursing skills first... and build up my bank balance?

In the midst off all my confused prayers and meditations, a voice spoke deep within me. Some people would say the voice came from my sub-conscious. I know it originated from God.

Just go! Nothings stopping you! If you don't want to go for two years, go for two weeks. You are more than qualified to hug and hold my babies. I'll make sure you have everything you need to do that. All I ask is that you hold my people in your heart, and give to them just as freely as I have given to you.

But where was I supposed to go? Was that God calling me or was I hearing what I wanted to hear? After all, I was not comfortable where I was, but I wasn't a quitter either. Did I have to prove that to God? To myself? I'm not sure.

I had a job that, for the most part, I loved. My family were in Scotland. My friends. Life here was rich and good. Every time I decided I would certainly stay, something turned sour: every time I made up my mind to go, I became uncertain.

And so I continued. I assigned myself a great deal of work that bound me to Scotland and to difficult circumstances, so didn't get the restoration I needed. I reflected a lot and didn't get the clarity I sought. Eventually, it occurred to me I was procrastinating, and God couldn't guide me unless I took the first steps. It some ways, even I was surprised when I finally said it. 'I am going.'

More about where I am going and why in posts to follow...

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