12 years ago I had the pleasure and the honour of going on a short mission trip to San Francisco, then a few years after that another one to Tanzania. You see, being a missionary has been like a little spark inside of me ever since I was young so getting to go and be one was like a dream come true and after San Francisco that little spark became a small flame. At that time being a missionary to me meant travelling abroad to help people and to share God’s love and I wasn’t sure whether it was something God was calling me to, or whether it was just something I wanted to do.
Fast forward to 2020 and at this point I came to believe I wasn’t able to travel abroad, maybe my desire to go back to Africa wasn’t where God needed me to go or maybe my two missionary trips were my only missionary trips. Little did I know that God had kept that little flame flickering inside me and it was about to grow! We were in lockdown and I was asking God to help me use my time wisely. I felt prompted to write a children’s story, one that would be used to share the gospel, God’s love, and bring peace in the uncertain times we were living in. During one of my church’s midweek teachings on Facebook God showed me in my mind the book drawn out in a child-like drawing and I started writing what I could see. Before too long there it was “Sammy the Sunflower Snail”. I didn’t really know what I was going to do with the book or rather what God was going to do with it so I gave some out to children I knew and put the rest away.
About a month later I got the urge to take up knitting, I only knew the basics so I started to practice using online videos and seemed to pick it up quickly. I came across a group on social media that collect knitted baby clothes for different charities so I made that my aim. I felt God had yet again answered my prayer and given me the gift of knitting to help people and gave me another great way of using lockdown time. After a few months when restrictions were being lifted some of the items I had knitted were getting sent out to different hospitals and charities. One charity started to reach out to charities in other countries and one of them was ‘Pass it on Trust Uganda’; before I knew it I had sent off my first box of baby clothes and knitted toys to Uganda. Around five weeks later I received photos of babies wearing clothes that I had made and it was then that I knew God was using me to make a difference in Africa! I couldn’t wait to send another box out and then I found out ‘Pass it on Trust Uganda’ were in need of children’s books.
I got the books I had put away and wrapped them up with knitted snails and off they went on their journey to Uganda. When I received photos of children with their books I thought my heart was going to explode with joy knowing not only were the children receiving clothes, toys and books but they received the gospel too! After sharing with Archbishop Steven it all clicked into place. I am a missionary in Africa without leaving home. That small flame inside of me has now become a roaring fire. Children across the world are wearing clothes I’ve knitted, reading books I’ve written, playing with toys I’ve made and it’s all been orchestrated by God! He made a way when I couldn’t see one.
God has continued to open doors since 2020, around 13 packages have been sent to charities with seven of those going to Uganda. One large box contained 135 sanitary products generously donated by members of Living Faith Church, friends, neighbours and family members. Other boxes have included clothing donations, toiletries, toys, bedding, nappies, masks, books and even Christmas cards handmade by children from our children’s ministry ‘Superkids’.
God chose me to be a missionary and a missionary I am. It may not be in the way I thought it would be, but that’s how I know it’s God’s way. God’s ideas go beyond our imagination. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He WILL give you the desires of your heart”. We are to glorify God and enjoy Him so by surrendering our plans and dreams and living out His plans for our lives we get to glorify Him and enjoy Him in everything we do while receiving the wonderful gift of the desires of our heart.