Before leaving for the US on my last trip to Burkina Faso, one of my wallets went missing while I was in the airport. While the loss of the money was a bummer what was most upsetting was the documents I had in the wallet, my Senegalese driver’s license in particular. After all the work we had gone through to get it now I needed to figure out how to replace it. This was a process I was not looking forward to. There is no clear process that someone can tell you to follow, you just have to blindly bumble forward until you finally succeed. Knowing it would take time, we started the process after our return. Now 6 weeks into it we still don’t see an end in sight. We have now spent 3 mornings running around to different places getting paperwork we need for it. Each time we get one piece and take it to the office with our file we are then told what paperwork we needed next. Friday I returned from the court house with the paperwork I needed from there only to find out that I needed my registration work from Dakar done before I could move forward. It is a painful process and at times can still make me want to scream. I am still learning to find honor in having something take a long time as that cultural concept it still difficult for me. On Friday when I was stewing over this I then remembered a friend of mine who just had her house burn down with all her paperwork in it. It allowed me to understand just a little bit how heartbreaking that would be knowing that the processes to replace those will take years. Imagining what I was going through just for one pieces of id and thinking of doing that for multiple made me understand her hardship all the more. So when I was crying out to God in my heart on Friday frustrated to know that I would have to wait longer and do more steps to get what I needed, he reminded me that sometimes these trials help to prepare me for the ministry he has called me to. Sometimes inconveniences help me to understand my relationships more and to be more real to those around me. It allows me to actually empathize with those around me better because of having some of the same difficulties. It took me the rest of the day to get my heart in check again, but it was good remember that if all went smoothly I would not be well equipped for relating to people and the bumps they have along the way. “Consider it joy”…well i guess I can work towards that right?
In a few quick days we will be leaving on our next trip. Once or twice a year we try to travel all together as a family, over one of the breaks from school. We try to do this especially to some of our works where the teams we visit have kids as well. This trip will involve 3 days of driving to arrive at our destination with 2 boarder crossings. Once we arrive Joel will take off with one of our co workers to visit our works in one country while I work with the teams in another country. It will be a full trip promising lots of excitement.
Ways you can be praying for this up coming trip..
- Pray for safety on the road
- Pray for our car and all the hard roads it will endure. We have new tires on the way, but they haven’t arrived yet, so we are praying our old tires will hold out for this trip.
- Pray for us to remain calm even when things don’t go as planned
- Pray for a great time with all those we will work with
- Pray for our kids that they would handle the adjustment and transitions well
- Pray that we would be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading in all our interactions
We will be gone for a few weeks, but we will look forward to letting you know how God is working when we return.
I’ll be praying.
Elisabeth schafer says
Safe and happy trip.