Monday 10 March, I fly out for a new adventure. Those of you who know me realise that flying is not my favourite thing in the world. The butterfly to the left is a photo I took on retreat in 2012, and it is a bit like me in a plane: Holding on for dear life.
I hate turbulence. I hate the uncertain movement and the insecurity of it.
Theoretically, I know flying in a plane is safer than a car. The irony of my fear is that I am not a good driver as the men in my family take great joy in pointing out; and I am much safer in the hands of a commercial pilot (even an Aerolineas Argentinas one) than I am in my Toyota Echo. But, I’m probably a control freak.
As I leave Australia for LA (a few days at the RE Congress); then a month in Nicaragua with the “Compania de Maria” sisters and “Redes de Solidaridad” ; then a year in Asuncion, Paraguay, I’m aware there will be moments where I am quite out of control; and all too reliant on others.
Anyone who has ever done overseas development/missionary/volunteer work would know that it’s rare that you go overseas and instantly find yourself the answer to the people’s prayers. In fact, you find yourself humbly reliant on the very people you have often come to serve. This period usually lasts until about a month before you go home 🙂
My big decision to go and spend a year in South America has led to lots of questions from people, and not a few challenges.
The big question people ask me is “what will you be doing there?”, but I prefer to say “for me, at the moment, it’s more about what I want to be, or become, while I’m there.”
Now, that all probably sounds terribly evasive and at its worst, self-indulgent, but really, I don’t know much more than the fact that I will be volunteering as a teacher of English and music in a poor community.
So, this little butterfly hopes for your prayers and thoughts and emails.
I remember how grateful I was to those who thought to send greetings now and again. Those little pieces of home are a big help.
In the meantime, my song is Empyting Out, a song I wrote for my album prayer of my heart. You can still download the songs on iTunes at this link bit.ly/1d4gPzw
I’m broken inside
Swimming against the tide
seeking your peace
no longer to hide
I’m hoping for spring
but comfort keeps me held
in a tension of things
I want to live well
So I’m emptying out
I’m selling it all
Laying it down
for that promise secure
I’m reaching to you
with all of my being
I’m emptying out
and filling my heart with you Oh Lord