Then he said exuberantly, "It's mom's return to travel!" It made me laugh, and more than that, it gave me hope. With that one statement he confirmed that I was healthy again. He validated the fact that my life was returning to normal, and that I would once again enjoy the things that bring me so much joy in my life!
True to David's proclamation, I have already spent several weeks traveling this year, to Oman, Syria, Egypt, and Jordan; and now I find myself at the airport again, headed off on a big adventure!
I was first diagnosed with cancer about a week before I was to travel to Burundi, Africa, to meet the Twa people with whom Community of Faith had established a partnership. I spent much of 2008 and 2009 preparing for that trip. If you've read my blog from the beginning, you may remember that one of my first questions to the doctor was, "But I'm supposed to go to Africa in a week, what do you think about that?"
Of course, the doctor told me that I would have to cancel those plans and concentrate on getting my health back. With a sad heart, I followed his instructions, and with grief I sent my friends and family on to Burundi without me that year.
But 2011 has brought with it "Mom's Return to Travel"! Today, I am at the international airport in Doha, Qatar, awaiting my next flight that will take me on to Africa for ten days spent with old and new friends! Mark and I will be meeting with young entrepreneurs from across the continent of Africa, listening, learning, dreaming, discussing, and praying together. Anticipating all that God is going to do for the people of Africa.
Then I will take my first trip to Bujumbura, Burundi. I can hardly believe that this trip is finally becoming a reality! I am going to meet the sweet Twa friends who have prayed for me all through my cancer journey! I will get to sing and dance with them. I will spend time at the village of Matara witness to all that God has done in two short years in and through this amazing group of people! I will meet Iribuka, the first little girl born on their new land, as well as many other beautiful children. And I will worship God with them. The one true God who never forgot them, who loves them with an everlasting love, and who knit our hearts together from around the globe. I can't believe it's really happening!
Thank you, God, for giving me this opportunity. Thank you for letting me live to see this day! Thank you for my return to travel! And thank you that you never forget!
"But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children." Psalm 103:17
Damascus, Syria with mom
Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt
St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt