Sunday, November 8, 2009

Time for a Double Celebration

“My God is great/ When He is four days late/ He’s still on time..” This is what says a song about Lazarus’ death and I Have to admit that it is so true. We’ve all passed through hard times when it seemed that God forgot about us and our problem. We’ve all been there, felt what means to be “forgotten” by God. I’ve been there myself so many times. For the past 6 weeks I’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Only four weeks ago my visa, along with the visas of 3 other friends, was denied. Plane tickets were canceled, money was lost, and we were confused but not without hope. Though it was not easy to wait, the fact that there were 4 of us in the same “pot” made things easier. At least we could encourage each other. After two weeks, two of my friends got their visas. I was happy for them but I couldn’t help the fear and doubt that invaded my soul. I just couldn’t hold back my tears for a whole morning. Why, Lord? Why do I have to wait? Why me? Do You have something else for me? Do You want me somewhere else? These were the questions pounding in my mind, questions without answers. Though I found it hard to accept that God wants me somewhere else, I just prayed that He will close the door to Namibia if He doesn’t want me there.

At the beginning of this week I told the Lord I just cannot wait any longer and I am willing to wait until the end of the week. If He still doesn’t provide the visa for us, I have to start looking for some other place where I could serve. Wednesday night I called Florin. He had no answer for us… The week was coming to a close and we still didn’t have any answer. Thursday evening I found Sebastian online and I started chatting with him. “Did you hear the news?” he asked me right away. My heart started racing. I knew it was something about the visa but I didn’t know if it’s good or bad news. “You’ve got your visas!” was his answer when I asked him what the news is. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. It seemed too beautiful to be true. I called Florin right away and he confirmed the good news. Though I do not have all the answers to the question: “Why did it take so long?” I have a few. In fact, this is what kept me and what made me hang in there: knowing and finding reasons why God has kept me back. It just “happened” that Sandro and I were the two who were left back (who else could have helped Sandro get his transit visa for Germany?), it also “happened” that two Fridays ago I was just leaving the house to go visit a friend for the weekend when a received a phone call and I was invited to speak at a Mission Festival. Then, there is this friend who, upon hearing we are still in the country, said she wants to send us some money… And, I can still go on like this with small, personal things.

Three days and I will finally be on my way to Namibia. I don’t know what God has in store for me there. I don’t know if I will find more answers to the question: “Why did it take so long?” but at this time I do not care if I do or not… All that matters is that He answered and granted our visas, and we will soon be on our way. I’ll be happy to find more reasons but if I don’t, I’ll just trust Him that He knew what He was doing.

November 10 is the beginning of the Namibian adventure… On November 9, exactly four years ago, I started my first overseas mission trip to Guyana. I had no idea at that time that, instead of spending 6 months in the mission field, I will choose to do this for as long as God needs me. I can’t believe that it is four years since my life is not the same, four years since I started to learn to love a simple life, since I found new dimensions of life, of the love for people, of the trust in God. And I know this is just the beginning.

I’m so happy God chose to celebrate with me the four years that passed since I fist left for the mission field by giving me the desire of my heart: the Namibia visa. So, it’s time for a double celebration.

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