Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Putting Courage to the Test

Remember how my two words for 2013 are "grace" and "courage?" Well, courage is already being put to the test.

John and I were recently presented with the unexpected opportunity to travel to Uganda through Winshape International. As we found out more information, it sounded like an incredible trip where we would be working with men and women who have recently started their own businesses. Through classes at a business center, we would coach them one-on-one and in small groups on developing their business plans and growing their companies. We would also be able to visit their businesses and seem them "in action." How exciting!

The only problem is that we would not find out specifics (i.e. exact dates, accommodations, travel plans etc.) until a month and a half before the trip. The planner in me really struggled with dropping everything and going to Africa for 10 days on a month's notice. But through John's and my prayers together and separately we felt very led to go on this trip.

Neither of us has been to Africa before, and Uganda has always been a place we've wanted to go. The work itself also aligns with our passions of developing others and doing "business as mission."

As soon as we committed to going on the trip (so far it is only us two and a trip leader), God began confirming our decision. For instance, we contacted Compassion International to try to arrange a visit with the child that we sponsor in Uganda through their organization. Even though they typically need 8 weeks to arrange this visit, they got back to us the next day and have already arranged for Ronald to meet us in Kampala - a six+ hour journey from his hometown. I cannot wait to spend a day getting to know Ronald and hearing about his family. We've already written several letters back and forth to each other too.

There are still a lot of preparations to do in a month (I still need to get a lot of shots, I really dislike packing, and I have never been on such a long plane ride!). And if anyone has recommendations on what is appropriate to wear, or suggestions on what a 15 year-old boy would want as gifts (I am putting together a backpack for Ronald), let me know! Yet I am at peace with everything and so excited for our trip, and I attribute this to the courage that God is building up in me.

As we prepare to leave in about a month, I would love prayers for our trip and that we would be able to speak truth and encouragement into the business men and women that we will be meeting with. I cannot wait to see what relationships develop from our time in Uganda.