Thursday, April 9, 2009

send me

For the past 4-5 years, I've had this faint little pull to Africa. For the past year, this little pull has turned into an undeniable angst...and last fall - somewhere around Oct 9 - the decision was made. "I'm going to Africa". I just couldn't shake it any longer.

Since then, I've known I wanted to go. I've even know WHEN I wanted to go. But I just didn't know where. And that's definitely not something I was going to take lightly. I started doing some talking and some researching. But honestly...I just wasn't feeling a strong pull toward any particular area or particular group. And that was frustrating...and honestly made me wonder if this really was what I was being called to.

Then the director of missions at my church (Lonnie Hearne) sat down at my desk one Sunday and started telling me all about his dreams for our church's involvement in a specific area in Uganda. (Side note: there are two countries that I have prayed for on a daily basis for the past 5 or 6 years - and those countries are Belgium and Uganda...Belgium because I went on a mission trip there in college and Uganda because we have had many ties there with missionaries and my best friend lived there for when he started talking about Uganda...I got excited right off the bat).

Anyway, there's an area in central Uganda called Nyamarwa
Kibale google satellite maps where there is this Kibbuse Vocational School, which was founded in 2000 by nine villagers who had a vision for their children to become job creators rather than job seekers. So at this school, young men are learning carpentry, bricklaying, metal working, and auto repair. Girls are learning tailoring, dressmaking, and home economics. All students are learning English along with hygiene, nutrition, and disease prevention.

nie started telling me about his vision for development in that specific area of the country...and my heart was about to beat out of my chest. Later that week, I had lunch with Lonnie's wife and she started sharing with me how women in Africa are so often de-valued and sexually exploited. There is such a need for women to come over and teach these girls about their worth and about their beauty. She said that she saw me being able to teach a class at the vocational school to young women about their identity and their worth. Are you kidding me?!?!?!? That is what my heart beats for!

So I'm November. Just one see what God does in my heart. And who may turn into something longer one day. And what's amazing is that two of my close friends from here in Franklin are going over at the exact same time...and for the exact same reason. I'm overwhelmed with excitement...

man...what is to come?


jackie said...

Melanie, that is such exciting news. I can't wait to hear what the Lord pours through you to help that community. They will be blessed to know such a wonderful woman of God. Thank you for sharing your heart with others through your blog!

Alan, Bobbi, Hank & Belle said...

That's fantastic Melanie!!!

Kim said...

So excited for you Melanie!! Keep us all posted on the details and what we can do to help!

TiffanyNorris said...

Melanie that is so very exciting. I can't wait to read the stories of what God is doing through you.