On our way to Africa, and on a plane for both Hope and mine first time. She has a fun time making so many friends with anybody. She is sleeping, all worn out by the long busy day. Now is my time to reflect on our expectations and the reason we’re traveling half way across the world to stay in a strange and new place. It’s easy to blame my family, because they all go on mission trips it seems. But it’s not a requirement for me to go; just because I’m from the Downs family doesn’t force me to leave the country. It’s true my parents have trained us to be missionaries and they did a great job in that. There is just so much more to it than that.
Going on a mission trip has been something I’ve wanted to do since I was 12, but God has had me wait because my heart was selfish at the time. My whole reasoning of going was to prove to others and myself that I was a good Christian. I had heard many times of my sisters Melody’s story, and she is remembered as a great follower of God; she gave up everything, even her own life to follow Jesus. I was trying to compare to her greatness, not realizing I was only focused on myself and how great I was. God took time to teach me and show me my error. He wanted me to rely on His Love to be my identity, and that I could Love others right.
We’re going to Africa to follow in Jesus’ calling to go into all the world and preach the good news of what Jesus has done. We understand not everyone has to go across seas, but somebody does. There are so many lost souls and God calls out to us “whom shall I send? And who will go for us” (Isaiah 6:8). As a child I continuously prayed, “here I am, send me!” It’s exciting that now I and my husband and baby get to go to Africa, as a response to His call. He has made this whole trip possible, and our friends and family have been a great help and support as well.
So I repeat the question, why are we going to Africa? Well there are many reasons to go:
We’ve been trained for this.
My family is persuasive.
It’s been my childhood dream and God promised me that I’d go someday.
We were available.
We believe in the great commission - Jesus before He returned to Heaven told His disciples to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). And He commanded us to Go into all the world and preach the good news to All creation (Mark 16:15)
We run towards what the devil tries to get us to fear.
God is with us, providing and protecting us from everything.
It’s going to be a lot of fun.
We are leaving our home, pets, families, friends, and our familiar comforts for 3 months. We are able to do this because of a longing to please God. It’s not because we want greatness to our names, no far be it. We point towards Jesus, giving Him all the greatness and Glory because He earned it. It’s satisfying just to have Him smiling down on us, as we become His loyal servants. Good servants are all about pleasing their master.
For all of you back in the states or where ever you are, I encourage you pray and to let God know you’ll go wherever He sends you. It doesn’t have to be over seas, but you have to be the willing servant to go wherever the Master wants. “Send me Lord, I will go!”
We’ll keep you up dated as we see God do Miraculous things through us and others
Love you all