Packing...shopping...preparing my home and family for my extended absences.....
The most important preparations concern my heart! What are my motives for going to CURE Niger?
Are they God focused? Are they for self satisfaction/personal gain/comfort? Why go at all? Are there not more qualified nurses? Are there not folks who are more fluent in French than me? What is the driving force that encourages me to keep on keeping on?
Although not perfect, my motive for going is LOVE......love for God, love for the CURE patients and caregivers, love for the CURE staff, love for Nigerien people, love for Africa...
Deuteronomy 6:5 tells me to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my strength ....how will I do that? What does that mean? My understanding is that I am commanded to love God with all of my intentions or effort.
I am called to love God as I remember all that He has faithfully done for me.
I am called to love God by intentionally obeying Him.
I am called to love God by being consumed by Him and His ways.
I am called to love God by loving my enemies....by loving the unlovely....by loving those who cannot return my love or choose not to respond to my love for them.
This is a tall order! It is not possible to love this deeply or completely without God's help and strength.
This journey to CURE I would like to meditate and contemplate the love of God:
Looking for God's love in unexpected places
Listening for God's love in conversations with hospital staff, patients and caregivers
Looking for God's love in everyday, extraordinary and even ordinary things
Perhaps by the journey's end, I will have a richer and deeper love for God and appreciation of all that He has done for me? Oh, I hope so!!
This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we night live through Him.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:9-12