As in Togo, West Africa.
As in Sparky.
As in not with her dad. Or anyone from her church. Or anyone she's known for more than a couple of months.
It's simply called faith.
Now let me back up and tell you the whole story.
I mentioned Missionary Christmas at our church back in November. (We hosted the Baptist Children's Home at our house.) There were foreign and state missions, local missions, multitudes of missionary service represented.
At the dinner on Friday night we sat with a family that we've known basically since we started going to the church about a year and a half ago. They have six people in their family also. Oddly enough, only the mom and one daughter were there, and there were eight seats at the table. Just right.
Then when Maureen (the mom) and I were walking around before the dinner, we met with a missionary couple from Lapeer, Michigan. She has known them for years. She asked me if I thought we'd have room for them to eat with us. Right before we had left the table, unbeknownst to her, two of my kids went to sit with their friends (Chatty and Caboose). Still just right.
We were able to talk with this couple and develop a relationship with them over dinner. Sparky had gotten up to go look at the missionary displays in a different room, and we happened to mention that she has felt the call to be a missionary since she was seven or eight years old. Mrs. Missionary said, "When will she be 16?"
I said, "December."
She said, "She should go to Africa with me in February. I'll be her chaperone."
I said, "Well, you can go ask her." As she walked off to find Sparky, Maureen told me that Mrs. Missionary had chaperoned two of her three girls on trips. I think the world of Maureen and her family, so that was really just the icing on the cake.
Mrs. Missionary found Sparky and asked her. I suppose you can tell from the title what the answer was.
Of course there was prayer and a lot of intervention from God. Sparky went before our church's Missions Board for approval. She is sending out letters for support this week and then will be giving her testimony in front of the church on Sunday morning, January 24th.
Her trip is from February 20th-28th. Sparky and Mrs. Missionary will be meeting the group at JFK and then flying to Ghana. They will drive five hours into Togo. The group is adding on to a maternity ward at a hospital they have previously built. She will be doing primarily kitchen work and will be staying in the guest houses on the hospital grounds.
We are very excited for her.
She is very excited.
I am a little scared for her. I will not speak for her dad. I just know that he always thought he'd go on her first trip with her, so I know at least initially this was tough on him. I think he's just hiding it well right now.
I think I just spoke for her dad. Dang, I do that way too much.
I will update as it gets closer to her trip, but please start praying for her and her safety. Pray for the group and the work they are doing. She is actually going the last (fourth) week, so the first group will be going soon. They are also trying to fill slots for the second and third weeks, so pray for that as well.
Pray for Caboose, too. He's kind of having a rough time with her going.