Destination Africa – Finding My VoicePosted on December 1st, 2010.
Two weeks into my trip to Africa, God gave me a voice.
It was my third time to visit the country, so I already loved the people and I already loved the land. I knew that I was going to work but the details of it all evaded me. In the past I’d been there to love on orphans, to play in the worship band, and to be a sold-out servant. I figured my role would fall somewhere along those lines but God isn’t so interested in what keeps us comfortable. So I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised when He started calling me to speak.
I would rather sing in front of a million people that speak in front of a million people any day. To memorize a three-minute melody and a few lyrics (that repeat often – bonus!) is so much less intimidating to me than organizing a mixture of words and phrases in efforts to evoke ideas, passion, emotion, change, etc. Leave the speaking to the pastors and people who have the talent to talk. I’ll just sing the pretty song.
But from my very first trip to Africa I told God that if someone asked me to do something, I would do it. If there was an opportunity to fill a need, I would fill it. With His grace and His help, it would happen because He sent ME. It’s a scary philosophy but it has birthed a new kind of boldness in me. Which is why when my uncle, who was with us at the time, said he needed some volunteers to be on a radio show with under twelve hours notice, I leapt at the opportunity.
The very next morning I found myself sitting in a studio with three other Americans in Nairobi, speaking to upwards of 2 million listeners about our passion for God and their country. The strangest thing started happening; every time a question was posed to me I was able to answer without the smallest hesitation. I never knew what I was going to say, but I always had something to say. I shared about what it’s like to be a Christian in America, discussed body image and other issues that American girls face, and I did my best to dash the common idea that problems will vanish if you just get a visa and start over in the States.
By the end of the week I was sharing part of my testimony in front of 700 African teens at Count Me In teen camp. By the next month I was talking about boys and faith in an auditorium crowded with 600 girls at one of Nairobi’s top boarding schools. I was beginning to live by the promise that if I opened my mouth, the Holy Spirit would fill it.
I see now how all along God was cultivating in me the qualities and skills of a teacher. Come September I started teaching art and Bible to six classes at a tiny school in the heart of Kibera, Africa’s second largest slum. I knew from the beginning that I was there to plant seeds and hopefully someone else would see the fruit. Of course, I was wrong again.
God planned for a harvest that I never could have anticipated.
Coming Soon – Part 3 of Destination Africa by Brittany White