Monday, May 21, 2012

You're going to GHANA? Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

***I tried REALLY hard to have a cup of coffee in my hand for this post, really, I did. I made a great cup of coffee around 4 intending to sit down with it and blog but my 'free wifi' at my apartment here in Fayetteville decided that it wasn't a good time for me to use it so I couldn't blog. I get what I (my parents) pay for I guess. What is important is that I am now able to blog after a couple weeks of not doing so!***

I am sure most of you know that I am going to Ghana in a couple weeks. The more people I tell, the more surprised they get. My teachers from high school couldn't believe it, my friend's parents were beyond surprised, and the more I tell it to people the more nervous I get! It's getting so close to my trip I am starting to worry! Of course I have been praying for my safety and asking others to pray for my safety. Going abroad without parents is a scary thing. The thought of going to Africa as pale as I am is even scarier. The title of this post has been a common response to me revealing that I am going to Africa, as I expected. Sunburns for me are no joke, my friends can tell you I have got a great routine down for not getting burnt. Let's hope that carries over to Ghanaian sun!

Sunscreen jokes aside, I am still very nervous about going to a 3rd world country as a white, well off, American. The thought of being pick-pocketed is a concern, the idea of trying new foods that wouldn't meet restaurant regulation in America is another. I'm not exactly "roughing it" as some people think when they hear I'm going to Ghana, I'm staying in hotels and resorts, but they don't exactly fit the US definition of 'hotel' and 'resort'.

I started (and just finished) reading Francis Chan's book Crazy Love towards the end of my semester, I have been wanting to read it for a while, especially since I saw him speak in Atlanta this past Winter and I was finally able to do so. Last night, I came across a section that I know was targeted at me, I just know it. The chapter was about obsession, the section was about our obsession with safety. Chan writes that when we pray to God something along the lines of-please keep me safe in my travels, and let me return home safely, we have "elevated safety to the neglect of whatever God's best is..."

What an incredible thought. This was such a needed realization that came at the right time for me. I have been praying for the Lord to keep me safe thinking that should be His will, what could be above my safety? But Chan challenges me, and all others who have fallen short of asking God to follow through with His will before our own, to ask God to bring us closer to Him. If that means risking our safety, shouldn't we sacrifice a little?

I'm not saying that I'm going to neglect my safety or my well being by not bringing sunscreen, or eating raw food, but who am I to ask God to put safety at the top of His predetermined list of things to do for me? It works in more situations than travel. Sometimes God has put me in a situation where I was scared, or I didn't know what was coming next, maybe not the safest  of all situations but that meant that I leaned more and more on Him, and His timing. This is His goal. For me to rely so heavily on His plans that asking Him for safety wouldn't even cross my mind. I should know that a little risk is worth having Him to back me up, keep me going. He knows what is best.

So as I get ready for Ghana, please keep me in your prayers. And as you pray, I would hope that my safety isn't your first or biggest concern. God has that covered. I would love for you to pray that I continue my journey with Christ through this trip to Africa and I rely more on Him than I ever have before.

1 comment:

  1. It is a challenge Abby, I must say, to send my beautiful, young, smart and fair skinned niece to Africa without praying to GOD for her safety, but I will try and phrase it in a way that speaks more of TRUST.
    "I TRUST you GOD, that you will hold my beautiful, young, smart, fair nieces' hand as she travels; as she continues her journey with you" .....OK was that better. It felt better actually, because I know GOD knows what is best, we should not doubt his will, but TRUST his plans for each of us! (I still may remind him a time or two while you are away).

    I can hardly wait for you to go so you can teach me something when you return!
    BE in every moment, take pictures, make memories sweet girl :)

    XO's Aunt Alice