I leave for Tanzania in five days and I can’t decide whether I’m more excited or scared. As I face this reality, I am leaning towards the scared side.
This strikes me as strange though. Why is it such a scary thing to see our dreams become a reality? So many people never achieve their dreams and many times that is due to fear; fear of failure or reality not living up to your expectations. It is much safer to keep dreams inside of your head and never let them see the light of day. People who allow this fear to rule their lives end up with regrets in the end though. When I get old I don’t want to be one of those people that says, “I always wish I had…” So, although it scares me to think about getting on a plane by myself and flying all the way to Africa, I’m doing it. It will probably be nothing like I imagine but I have the feeling that in this case reality might actually be better than my dreams.
Today someone asked me what my expectations are and I told her that I don’t really have any. I think it’s better to go into an experience like this with an open mind and leave my assumptions behind.
Like many people, the automatic image that comes to mind when I think of Africa is something like this:
Starving children crowding the streets. I know that there is so much more to Africa than this but unfortunately, images like this have been drilled into us by the media. I am expecting that the area I am going to is not as destitute as other parts of the continent, but I could be completely wrong of course. I am expecting that most people will speak English but there could be more of a language barrier than I expect.
There are a few things I am pretty sure of. I am going to be completely out of my comfort zone and in the minority for the first time in my life. My faith is going to be challenged more than it ever has but I also expect that it will grow immensely. Finally, I am going to encounter Jesus in a new way in all the people I meet and be able to serve Him as never before.
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”