If you are reading this you probably have heard our news. Ryan and I are moving to Botswana, Africa! We are planning to be there by the end of summer if everything lines up. Ryan has felt called to Africa since he was a teenager. God woke him up in the middle of the night and told him to go to Africa. He got online and showed his parents a missionary aviation video.
For me it has been more recent. Like all of our other moves, he has been ready before me. God slowly changed my heart from being opposed to being excited. When I was younger my pastor and his wife moved to Africa. I remember as part of their farewell party they played "Please Don't Send Me to Africa" by Scott Wesley (or a song similar). I was freaked out and prayed I would never have to go there. Twenty years later I was saying the same thing. Then I researched Botswana and my heart broke for the people there. Below are some of the statistics that changed my mind and my heart.
We have moved a lot in our six and a half years of marriage. Our first move was to Virginia. As newlyweds we felt led to go back to school and finish up our degrees. In VA we learned to make it on our own and bonded as a couple. It was there that we both got our training. Afterwards we moved back home to try to figure out our next step. It was important to get that time with our family. It is also where we got our pup Chandelle. From there God led us to Alaska. Here we have continued to grow. We believe those moves and everything else in our lives has been leading us to Botswana. David wrote in Psalms that God orders our steps. Looking back we can see that He has done just that in our lives.
So what will we be doing there?
Ryan will be flying medivac, humanitarian, and charter flights for Flying Mission Services in Gaborone, Botswana. This is a great Missionary opportunity. Ryan will be able to use his training to help those in need and spread Christ's love through his actions. St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel always. If necessary - use words."I am still trying to find my place in this plan. I am hoping to be volunteering at an orphanage or preschool. Orphans make up 10% of the entire population of Botswana. There are so many children in Bots that need to hear about God's Love! My calling has always been to work with children so I look forward to seeing how I can serve in Botswana.
*Botswana is about the size of Texas
* There are 2.2 million people that live there
*1 in 4 are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS (That is over 500,000 people and the numbers could be higher)
*Due to AIDS being so prevalent there, 10% of the entire population are orphans. Over 200,000 children without parents.
*Average life expectancy is 50 years