The battle is tough. The spiritual battle this is. The enemy likes to have a playground, a breeding ground. He creeps in when your guard is down, when you are tired, when you are stretched. He tries to steal things that aren't his. He tries to rob you of what is good. He tries to distract you, discourage you and put you down. The enemy, he is tricky, sly, quick and mean. And when you head off to Africa with 15 people following you who are sold out for Jesus, you better believe he comes out full force, ready to take you down.
The morning we were set to depart for our African adventure the enemy tried creeping in. He feeds off of our insecurities and he loves it. Its a cruel joke of his. He will use anything he can and that day he thought it would be fun to use our sweet girl. The morning we left was a tough one. Out of the blue, totally off guard the enemy crept in, in a way that I wouldn't have expected. We were walking out of the door and Emme became a weeping mess. Fear had crept in and entangled her. Bless her. Fear of abandonment, a fear we have thought we overcame. I mean we have overcome. We have victory. But we saw that there are still really big struggles here and insecurities. It was the first time Phillip and I both were leaving for Africa since we brought her home in January of 2012. There was something about both of us leaving and us going to Africa that made her fear we were not coming back to her. We both cried, held her and prayed with her. We reassured her that we were indeed coming back and that we love her and her brothers and that she would have tons of fun while we were away. She held onto me tight while we drove to the airport. There is something about the airport that gives her anxiety. While we rounded up our team she clung to me tight. We hugged and kissed and cried some more. I put on a brave face for her. She needed her mommas strength. But once alone this momma cracked. I met Jesus in the bathroom of that airport and asked him to take charge and be her comfort. I called up our great friends and had them pray. Prayer changes things. Peace came over Emme that day and I praise Jesus for hearing our cries and meeting Emme right where she needed him too.
That day, we traveled to DC to meet up with our "out of staters" and to get a good nights rest (i guess not if you are Phillip, Tim or Christian and you decide to pull an all nighter!) before our journey began. That day was heavy for me. My heart was heavy not only had Emme melted, Beckham became sick. I was already homesick and missing my kids. I am thankful for nurse friends like Wendy who will let your baby sitter come over at 11pm so she can check out little ears and know how to treat it. Thanks again Wendy!
By that morning, the day we were leaving, all my kids came down with ear infections, sinus infections cough and everything else. They were getting multiple antibiotics and shots. Not a great way to start a mission. We had prayer warriors fighting it. Praying for healing, praying for encouragement. Its just like the enemy. I am not saying he inflicts us with illness but what he does do is feed into our insecurities and loves to play that cruel game of fear, doubt and discouragement. I battled to not let him succeed. I boarded the plane knowing I would be entering into radio silence until who knows when. I was forced to crawl into Jesus and let him take care of my kids. Sometimes I think I can do it better but now, I had to trust that He is the better parent and He will fix it. That was hard.
The travel was long, exhausting and LONG. But excitement was our driving force. We landed in Ethiopia first and then headed to Uganda. I was beyond excited about Uganda. So much richness in that country. I was ready to dive in and get my hands dirty and love some sweet Ugandan kids.
about 7 hours into a 15 hours flight. My Ambien was NOT working!!!!