Tomorrow I preach my first sermon of 2010 to my Hill City Church family, then me and my co-pilot Jim get to jump in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes (I’m not even kidding!) to whisk us off to Heathrow and the start of our African adventure in Burkina Faso.
At the time of writing my emotions are mixed! I’ve never been to Africa (didn’t have a passport for 8 years until last month!) and have never been personally exposed to the scale of poverty that I know awaits us. I’m expecting to cry a lot!! I’m also going to miss my family like crazy. The longest we’ve ever been apart is 2 days, so I’m going to find that tough and Josiah (my son) is currently really sick, so leaving him is going to be especially hard!!
However, I also see the hand of God all over this trip so I’m going to get on the plane with a heart full of faith and hope. I’ve been blown away by the way Hill City has risen to the challenge of sponsoring these precious kids, even in the midst of a recession! We were allocated 2o children and to date 17 have been sponsored!! When we planted Hill City we wanted the love of God, expressed through acts of mercy, to be right at the heart of what we’re about – so it’s beautiful to see that gospel heart beating strong!! I’m especially excited about a little stealth mission that we’ve got going on too. We’ve packed 20 little back-packs full of gifts for our Hill City kids and will get to give them out next week. Can’t wait. Me and Jim are also getting the privilege of meeting our sponsor children and their families in their homes – which is going to just blow me away. Again, I reckon I’m going to cry! A full break-down of our itinerary can be found here. Please use it to inform your prayers.
This trip would not have been possible had it not been for the tireless work and sacrifice of Jeff and Jen Taylor who have literally taken care of everything (even the Mercedes!) Their love for Jesus and their commitment to the work of Compassion is humbling, and we’re so grateful to them for making our Burkina Faso partnership possible. Also there’s a fantastic girl off the estate called Leigh who was saved and baptised last year. Her dedication to sorting out the rucksacks and getting them all packed up has also been a huge blessing and will give our precious kids something to smile about next week!!
We have no idea how connected we’ll be while we’re away. If there is a good (cheap) internet connection then we hope to be doing daily blog entries here at the sanctified rant, as well as Twitter updates too. If not – then radio silence is where it’s at!! Either way, please pray for us as we go, that we’ll used and changed by God for His glory. Please also pray for the Compassion staff, church leaders and kids that we’ll be serving, and also for our own families back home, and our church family at Hill City.
Thanks and God bless.