By the time you are reading this article, I will be standing on African soil! My daughter Molly and I are headed to Swaziland to visit dear friends John and Kay West and their son Jeremy.
While there, we hope to visit patients at hospitals, play with kids at children's homes, prayer-walk through various neighborhoods, and help Kay with a Moms in Touch training conference.
And who knows what else the Lord will have for us!
This will be my fourth visit to the continent. I love Africa! Why? Part of the reason is because it is exciting to see the very REAL faith of so many Africans.
A Ugandan friend thanks God for waking him up every morning to live another day. Just to live!
Hungry people pray for food, expecting God to answer and knowing that they will literally starve without it. (A couple of years ago, my youngest daughter began to give thanks before every meal that we not only have food, but we also have the money to buy it. I'm sure those prayers will be even more poignant upon our return.)
There are prayers for healing, knowing that if God does not answer with a yes, there are no other options. There is no putting your faith in a prescription to pick up at a local Walgreens or in the money required for medical care, which may or may not even be available.
I am looking forward to the laid-back African pace of life. If something is planned to happen on a given day, it may or may not, but no one really stresses about it.
If an event is supposed to last for an hour, it may go for 3 or 4. It is not the hurried pace that we find so often in America. Life is a lot more about relationships and a lot less about "stuff."
Another reason I am especially excited to go to Africa is to see the Wests living out their radical lifestyle change, relying upon the Lord in ways most of us can barely imagine.
They used to live in a nice home in Ahwatukee, plugging along like the rest of us, when God called them to sell their house, get rid of their belongings, and move to Swaziland as full time missionaries.
They followed Jesus' advice to the rich young ruler from Matthew 19:21. "...go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me."
In Revelation 7:9-10, John describes this scene: "...I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.
They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."
Can you imagine what that scene will actually look like one day with people from all over the world!
I can get a small taste of that while worshiping with my African brothers and sisters in Christ!
Although there are so many things I love about Africa, there are definitely things I can't stand (never mind the 27 hours of travel it takes to get there).
I'm sure there will be numerous heart-breaking moments as we encounter people starving to death or dying from the ravages of AIDS.
The number of orphaned children will likely be astounding. I know I'll weep at the abject poverty. And yet the Lord is sovereign.
I thank God for the many people who are praying on our behalf. May we be used by Him in mighty ways and may His will be done. May we be the answer to someone's prayers.
The Lord's purposes shall prevail.
• Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.