(This is somewhat off the normal topic of this blog—writing—but for those of you who want to read this post can. It's mostly about missions and writing conferences and stuff.)
Many of you might know of the ambition I had for this year—to go to the 2012 OYAN Summer Workshop in Kansas. That was partially what set the gears in motion to self-publish The War Horn. All throughout this year, I've been waiting and hoping that I could go.
By the time The War Horn was available to buy, I knew that making a plane ticket's worth of sales would take a miracle. And I was hoping that God would come through with a miracle. After all, He had risen people from the dead—it would be easy enough for Him to get me enough money for a plane ticket.
But it didn't happen. It's late April now, about two months until the Workshop. I haven't gotten enough money to pay for a tenth of the ticket. So my "Workshop or Bust!!" slogan has pretty much...busted.
There was a brief hope that I might be able to go if the entire family went to a family reunion in the late summer, but that, more or less, didn't turn out either.
So to summarize...I'm not going to the Workshop.
Strangely enough, I'm not really that sad about it.
Thing is, God has better plans than I do.
As a result of this ambition, I've gotten The War Horn published. And maybe that's why God gave me the idea of going to the Workshop in the first place. However, there's another reason why God, in His infinite wisdom, didn't let me go.
It's a complicated problem. Suffice it to say that going back to America this year might very well be dangerous.
Dangerous? How could going to America be dangerous?
One book we own on missions has a section about going back to the home country. According to that book, the eight-month line is the worst time to go back, because the first eight months are usually the hardest. And there's a temptation to go back, and stay there. Eight months is where you're almost finished adjusting, but you're still missing home.
And the eight month period is right where the Workshop 2012 falls.
I think the author is right on, too. Up until this point, I had been thinking like this:
"Maybe I can go back HOME this year."
"I can't wait until next Sunday, when I can eat AMERICAN food."
"I kind of miss AMERICA. I miss AMERICAN seasons."
"I miss my friends and family in AMERICA."
"I'm holding out until I can GO BACK."
Do you see the trend?
"Dangerous" is the right word for it. Because going back to America had, in a way, become an "escape" instead of a "visit".
Good thing that God is a lot wiser than I am.
Because, in His own way, He's kept me from going. He's kept me on the track. God's will for our family is here, in Liberia, in West Africa. And he's led me not into temptation—the temptation to go "home" and stay there, and thus thwart His will.
I'm adjusting now. The days have progressively gotten better. Culture shock gives me trouble still, but for the most part I'm meeting it head-on.
I need to stop thinking of home and make THIS home. This is where God has called us, and wherever He calls us to is home.
So that's why I'm not going into America this year. God has called us here, and He means to keep us here. We'll be visiting America, yes, but it'll be a visit, not an escape.
And one last thing...
WORKSHOP 2013 OR BUST!
Just sayin'. ^_^