“The Call”


The glimmering city lights of Nairobi were spectacular as the plane banked toward the runway. I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of the two-week adventure that lay ahead of me. I took in a deep breath, and then exhaled slowly. I recalled the distant yet emotionally vivid memory of myself as a young boy, holding on for dear life to the back of the pew in our little country church. It was the altar call, and I was scared to death I might get “the call.”

You might know what I’m talking about—the “missionary call to Africa” we get when we decide to “give our all” to God.  The altar calls demanded every ounce of strength I could muster to stand my ground, even though everything inside me wanted to be God’s little warrior. But I had to stand firm. I couldn’t risk full surrender, knowing it could mean the end of life as I knew it. I liked my life just the way it was. A sentence to some remote jungle of Africa, never to see my family or pony again, would ruin everything.

It didn’t help that the song leader – and everyone for that matter – always seemed so somber, like someone had just died, or was about to die, as we sang songs like I Surrender All, and I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go, Dear Lord!

Now here I am, about to land in Africa.  My pulse quickens as I rehearsed my mission: Deliver thousands of dollars worth of drugs and medications to an orphanage near Kobare, north of Lake Victoria and a little north of the equator, not too far from Uganda. In essence, I’m an international drug runner, and I don’t know a soul where I’m going. But I’ve never felt so alive in all my life!

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