I’m excited to introduce you today to one of our special team members and newest contributing writer, Heidi. She is a beautiful gal with a heart for the Lord that will inspire you to be more bright, more beautiful, more like Him.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Dreaming with God and sharing your desires with Him always leads to an adventure! I have discovered that many of the dreams hidden in my heart, have been planted there by Him, and when the time is right, God will fulfill them. I am so blessed that God included my desire to visit the Black family in His purposes for my life.
For six weeks last summer, God sent me on an incredible journey to Nigeria, Africa, where I discovered more about His character, experienced the joys and sacrifices of overseas missionary life, and developed a greater passion for my own calling.
Leaving for Nigeria, my goals were simple. I planned on assisting around the house and playing ‘big sister’ to Hannah, Jillian, Emily, Elijah, Caleb and Naomi Black. I wanted to understand what life was really like for them, so that I could better pray for them and support them. For the first three weeks of my visit, I did just that. I helped out with chores, played many, many games, graded schoolwork, decorated a door, read books and loved on them as best I could. Their oldest daughter, Hannah, and I were also able to do some work duty around the YWAM campus that they live on; as well as organize several Bible classes for the children on campus. I was also able to experience Nigerian culture by traveling outside the YWAM compound and into one of the largest open-air markets in Africa. That day was full of shopping and haggling over prices, marriage proposals, and seeing Nigerian culture up close and personal! My time at their house ended all to quickly, but I left knowing that the Blacks were filled with joy — heedless of the rat-filled bathroom, the intense heat, sporadic electricity, and numerous house ‘guests’ — because they knew their family was in the center of God’s will.
The last three weeks of my trip were spent traveling in Northern Nigeria. Staying in Nigerian homes, attending various church services, and enjoying authentic Nigerian cuisine was a great experience. My favorite adventure while up north was the night we spent in the middle of the African bush. This village was one to which I assumed would be a place to send missionaries, yet they were sending native missionaries out to smaller surrounding villages. We trekked through the bush for miles, visiting villages and encouraging native missionaries.
That evening, the village held a service where we were able to share our heart with the Nigerians. But better than that, they shared their heart with us and loved on us.
Falling asleep that night on the cement floor of a screen-less and door-less hut, I reflected on the fact that no matter our skin color or the language we spoke, we had worshiped the same God that night.
I found it so amazing that God’s plan for our lives involved us meeting each other in the bush of Africa.
The plane rides home gave me a long time (about 15 hours) to think back on the trip. As anyone who goes on a missions trip will tell you, God blesses you…sometimes more than you feel you blessed those you were with. He showed me in many ways that He cares enough about even the silliest fears, such as finding rats in the bathroom ( I only saw one). He showed me, through Hannah’s dedication to her family, how I should strive to serve my family. He showed me, by seeing how the Blacks survive in Nigeria, that regardless of what He calls me to do in life, He will supply what I need to accomplish it.
And He showed me, through the exciting fulfillment of this dream, that I can trust Him with the rest of my dreams. He is a faithful and loving God who gives us good gifts. We just have to ask, for if we “delight ourselves in the Lord, he will give us the desires of our heart.”
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
“Every good and perfect gifts is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Place your trust in a God who desires to fill our lives with the richness that comes from following Him. Dreaming with God is an adventure you don’t want to miss out on. So begin delighting in the Lord and see where He takes you!!
What dream can you talk to God about today?
What has He put right in front of you, in your life now, that He wants you to delight in?