So the last week has been consumed of thoughts and prayers about which direction God is leading me with AIM. I finally was given 3 different locations on where I could go to do children’s ministry. There was Southern Sudan (teacher’s aide), Uganda (orphanage or working with street kids), or Namibia (taking children out of at-risk situations, mentoring, tutoring, etc.). Now the weird thing is, I’ve always had a desire to go to Sudan, and here was my opportunity. But I didn’t feel called nor drawn to go there now. I also didn’t really want to be a teacher’s aide either (unless God calls me there I will go). But things were different and changed. Uganda, my next choice, I thought would be amazing to go to, but I didn’t really feel drawn towards it either. I think I have some kind of thought that all “the white people” from the States and elsewhere go to Uganda and I really wanted to go somewhere else where there hasn’t been a ton of missionaries or foreigners. Now I dont know a ton about Namibia, but you don’t hear too many missionaries moving to Namibia. I usually hear China or India, or Uganda/Kenya/Ethiopia. What struck me about Namibia is the things that I could do with the children here specifically. Rae Ryniker, my short-term coordinator, told me a line of things that I would be doing with these children that were pulled out of bad situations- they would need tutoring and mentoring to be able to have a decent education, they love to play sports and do crafts and just anything a regular child likes. Now, because I applied with the OFM team and did not make it, Rae still knew that I desired to do photography no matter where I went. I want to get into more than just the photos, I want to be able to document these childrens’ lives. So we talked more specifically about doing crafts with these children and how I could incorporate photography into their lives. I could teach them how to use a camera, how to take photos, how to critique what they’ve taken and see the beauty and message through it. The thing with teaching photography is although I’ve never done it (i’m not an expert) I know with all of my heart that its not just about taking the photograph. What the child’s eye sees through the lens, could be a life-changer. A whole new perspective on life is the goal, and of course to find hidden talents. So now it has set all these crazy ideas and projects in my head that I would love to do with these children. If you want to know a bit where I got this idea, watch “Born into Brothels”. With the camera though, I was thinking about trying to get a couple of digital/film cameras (digital would be easier) donated that are either old-ish and just setting around at your home not being used. Or if you want to donate some $$ i could probably find a very cheap used camera online. How amazing it would be to display these kids’ world perspective through a photograph that can tell 1000 words.
So now, I wait. I continue to pray and let God lead me as He opens doors and shuts doors. My mom always has such great wisdom for me. She said something on the lines of the location of where you go isn’t always the most important thing. Yes God knows where you will end up, but again, sometimes He lets YOU choose a location as long as you serve Him with all of your heart and glorify His name through His truth and love. That is so true time and time again. God does give me a desire to go to a certain location, which I follow, but it seems that He’s not always so particular on which country you are going to (at least in my experiences).
Thank you Lord, for showing me and guiding me yet once more. Each and every step leads me closer to where I desire to be as well as a step closer to knowing You better in this relationship. I praise You and will desire to always obey where You lead. Amen!