Today was Safari Day! We loaded on a huge bus with 28 of our team and Passion Center Staff, drove 3 hours to the National Park of Muvuu. The first part of the land safari was uneventful except for a small herd of elephant crossing the road in front of us. We had to stop our bus momentarily to allow the very small group of very large animals as much space as they needed. The water safari was much more adventurous. When we arrived and I saw the boats, which looked like they were straight out of the movie African Queen, I began to panic and actually considered backing out. Remembering my promise to not let fear control me I figured I could not come all the way to Africa and not go on a real safari! So on the boat I went! It was beautiful. I couldn't believe all the hippos and crocodiles lining the shore and how eerily they slipped into the water precisely as our boats approached. We even had an up close and personal view of an elephant! So glad I didn't allow fear to join me on that boat, I would have missed out on so much.
On the way back to Zomba, we came upon a village protest of the government concerning the fuel shortages. It was a very tense moment, but God was all over it from the beginning. Ahead of us we saw what appeared to be a fire in the road, after a few minutes we realized the fire was moving. We found out later that it was moving because it was a large group of citizens holding torches. Our driver stopped the bus and was approached by a few locals who told him what was going on and apparently that he should hide the bus for our safety. While he was talking I noticed a little white Corolla with two military men inside and a little dirt path that presumably led to a village. Our bus backed up and preceded to drive down this little dirt path into the village. We went pretty far back into the brush and parked our very large 28 passenger bus in the front dirt patch (otherwise known as a yard here in the States) of some very unassuming although welcoming villagers. The military men in the Corolla had led us back and we all sat very still and very quiet, praying....praying....praying. We could smell the smoke from the torches and hear the yelling from the crowd. I was sad for the people, I was scared of the circumstance, and I thought a lot about my lovies. I saw God's hand, in the 2 military men that just "happened" to be available to escort us, on the village path that just "happened" to be right where we stopped offering a hiding place, and on our bus full of people who were standing in the gap, praying for God's will. Just that morning I had spent time reading and praying on Jeremiah 1:5-7:
"Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations. Don't say I'm too young; for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you and don't be afraid of the people for I will be with you and protect you.
My strong suit is not scripture memorization, but I am never short of amazed when God chooses to remind me of something I never thought I would remember. I spent so much time reading that verse and hoping I could pull from it in the right situation~the problem was all the "I's" God doesn't NEED me to make sure HIS will prevails~He will provide in ALL circumstances.
We weren't in hiding more than a half hour before our bus was met at the main road by a truck full of fully armored military police ready to escort us all the way up the plateau. Our bus erupted in cheers and the officers were so kind approaching our driver saying in broken English "No worries, you are safe, no worries." Even in the most sour situations God will provide moments of sweetness. It's up to us on which ones we choose to focus.
|This is the most perfect African Safari Photo!|