Monday, October 26, 2009

Liberia, Here I Come

So, I guess it is really happening.

My bag is packed (mostly), my students' report cards are finished, the sub plans are finished,  the sun will come up tomorrow, and I will depart for Monrovia.  It's a very long journey.  That is primarily because there are no direct flights from the United States to Liberia.  So,  first I fly From Washington Dulles around 6 p.m. to Brussels, Belgium.  My considerate Furball printed an article of fun things you can do in Brussels during a layover.  Alas, we won't be there that long, and the plan is to find a cozy spot in the airport to sleep.  Thanks, husband.  Maybe we can check out Belgium together some other time.

After a several-hour layover, we get on the plane to Monrovia.  We are set to arrive in Africa late at night on Wednesday.  You do the math.  My family must be thrilled to know that they won't be in my company after a 30-hour commute.

I've really been trying to get my heart in the right place in the past few days, primarily by opening myself to the Spirit and letting it do the work it needs to do with regard to me.  I've been acknowledging anxieties as they arise and trying to let them go.  I haven't decided yet if it's been a good idea to read the State Department alerts on Liberia before you go there.  It lists the worst things that could happen - things that happen anywhere and everywhere.  Part of me wishes they would say, "But this will definitely not happen to you."  Fight or flight reflex is kicking in a bit.  But there is nothing that can keep me from this trip!

So, I focus on the staff and students at The Bromley School, and wonder what fruit our encounter will bear.  I have no doubt there will be fruit, but I am pretty sure it will come in ways I cannot imagine right now.  So, I am open and have no expectations.  I'm trying to think of times when I have been open and without expectation, and I cannot think of one.  Hmm.  Guess I'll have to think about that.

I am the kind of person who will read the end of a novel if it is too suspenseful and go on Wikipedia to learn the plot (and ending) of a movie I'm watching - especially if it's too violent.  I can't Wiki this trip or read the ending.  I just have to be present and experience it.

So, one of the ways that I have been preparing my Self for this trip has been to turn to the Carmelite prayer book (The People's Companion to the Breviary) that I love so much.  Yesterday, I did morning prayer and decided to "look ahead" to tomorrow's reading.  Just to see if I could get a hint as to what I can expect as I leave on The Biggest Trip Ever.  God, in His tender mercy, must have taken pity on me because the prayer was wonderful.  Either that or He knows that I can't stand the unknown, and knew this was a good way to get to me.  He knows my "curiosity."  Some may call it a futile need to be in control.  I choose curiosity.  Sue me.

Here's the readingr.  I'm taking it with me and praying it for me.  Please join me.

We are truly on the way with Christ, our Hope and our Promise, if we live a life of thanksgiving for all that God has already revealed and done and of vigilance for what (God) wants us to do in the present moment, even if God wants to surprise us and lead us where we did not want to go.  For those who put their trust in Christ, everything, even the most insignificant or the most unpleasant event, becomes a sign of grace and hope, a school of vigilance for the coming of our Lord.
                                                      --Bernard Haring, Prayer: The Integration of Faith and Life, p. 29. 

So, off I go.  I will not be able to post or blog, as I will not have access to internet in Liberia.  I plan to journal and take many, many pictures and will post them as blogs when I return.  Please pray for me and my fellow missioners, for the children and staff at The Bromley School, and for the good people of Liberia.

Oh, and God, I can't wait to see how you surprise me.


  1. If you get a chance while in Monrovia, look up my friend Fr Edward Gbe, who heads up the Seafarers' Ministry there - he is a dear - we went to VTS together. Another one of those wonderful Spirit-filled people (like YOU) who step up even when it seems a wee bit crazy to do so. And may all of God's surprises be a joy to you.

  2. So excited for and proud of you! I imagine this trip will change you forever. What an awesome testimony that you are obeying when you heard God calling, despite feeling unsure and inadequate. You will be covered in prayer!

  3. What a perfect prayer for your journey! I will pray it every day and think of you.
    Lots of love and blessings, Dear Di.


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