Addis Ababa, ever been there? Me neither, with one exception. Over a week ago my plane landed there (Ethiopia) after twelve hours at 39,000 feet. Sitting at the gate for my next flight to Kampala, Uganda I do not recognize a single word around me. Foreign has a way of taking on even more foreign when the sites, smells, dress, heat and language are unrecognizable. One can feel a bit insecure, anxious and excited all at the same time, but it’s another day in the kingdom of God full of anticipation. It becomes a reality that my security is not found in where I am or whom I am with. Native faces turn with each passing white face, while comments follow. I find myself imagining that the conversation is about where this “foreign” person is headed on this African continent.
Vacation it is not. I am here to serve the DOVE International family in the nation of Uganda. The leaders have requested that I come to share on principles of marriage. My prayer has been, “Lord, help me to be sensitive culturally, while at the same time remaining biblical.” Further, “Help me to humbly remember that I am a foreign guest.” While I do not desire to offend in any way culturally, worse would be to stray biblically. I truly believe that God’s word transcends culture. I am so pleased, so honored to have this opportunity before me. “Foreign” is a feeling that every believer should feel on this earth anywhere they live or travel. The Scriptures reveal that we are simply passing through this world into the next one. If we begin to feel too comfortable, maybe we’ve become too familiar with our surroundings and our too normalized life. Perhaps it’s time to ask your heavenly Father for an assignment that feels insecure, uncomfortable, stretching and foreign. It’ll grow your faith and trust in Him.