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Friday, July 22, 2016

"Malawi Africa" by Alison Sales

I never thought I would be able to go to Africa. I definitely never thought I would have the opportunity to go with both my parents, my little brother, and my best friend. Not to mention my brand new spiritual mentor and her whole family. God hand-picked our team from the very beginning. He even provided me with Mrs. Blair as a fellow introvert and academic to give my brain some good school-talk breaks.

While our team was perfectly picked, from the start I felt my insecurities growing. Surely my parents
were called to ministry but what about me? Of course Briana and the other teens were great with kids,
but I’d never been a good public speaker and I certainly was not cool like them. I listened to all sorts of lies about my identity throughout the trip. Yet over and over again God kept speaking to me—this team is hand-picked Alison and that means you are just as important and vital a member as everyone else.

He spoke through my team members to combat the enemies’ lies. They told me, the anxiety attacks you are having don’t make you weak or incapable, God will honor your sacrifice. Being an introvert doesn’t make you less effective they said, these people need to be seen and listened too. You might not be able to sing beautiful songs for them, or organizes three hundred kids into a spectacularly fun game-time, but you can hold hands with a child and hug the women who have been overlooked. One teammate even told me there was no way she would have been able to keep going without me. If my purpose was to hold the team together and remain positive and encouraging for them then that alone was enough of a reason for God to call me to Africa. He used me to help them be effective.

The passage of scripture that became my theme for the whirlwind 12 days is found in 1 Kings 19. It is a part of Elijah’s story that I have always loved. When he is in the middle of trouble and trial and
difficulties God comes and reveals himself to Elijah. Surprisingly God is not in the earthquake, and he doesn’t even appear in the mighty fire. Instead God comes to Elijah in a still small whisper.

Travelling to Malawi, Africa, was filled with miracles, wonders, changed lives and powerful beauty I
never thought I would be honored to experience. I cried more tears than humanly possible and smiled
till my face was sore. But while the whole trip felt like a wild earthquake and a blazing fire God is
speaking to me much more in small miraculous whispers. He cares about my identity and he cares about your identity in him. He showed me how to be useful for his glory—as an introvert, as someone who doesn’t have skills to command a crowd or share the gospel eloquently, as a nervous anxiety-ridden child he used me. It doesn’t take a crazy trip to tune into God’s voice, what is he whispering to you?

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Thank you for your words of encouragement. The Sales Family