Monday, December 14, 2009

The Accidental Missionary

On my trip to Lusaka for Thanksgiving supplies I hired a taxi for the day to run me around town visiting all the shops. My phone battery was running low because of being on the bus all day and night and then being on the go the following day as well. Since I was about to get back on the bus for another overnight ride I asked the taxi driver if he had a car charger. He did and I handed him my phone.

He plugged it in and I leaned back into the seat in the rear of the taxi.

  Two seconds later I began to panic--I felt my pockets, searched my purse, looked in all the pockets, moved my parcels and bags around desperately looking for.....

my phone!

I was in a complete panic and began saying, "my phone, my phone". The taxi driver couldn't hear me well but asked if I wanted to use my phone and began to hand it to me.

Yes, I, in the space of less than 30 seconds, had forgotten where I had put my phone!

I sat back in my seat and chuckled to myself: Lord, you chose me??

For the record I don't really mean the title of this post. I know that God has a plan for me and I didn't 'fall' into this life by mistake but sometimes when people compliment me and call me an angel or say they couldn't do what I do, I get all itchy. 

I am so grateful for compliments--it's my secondary love language after all--but I think people ought to know that if it weren't for God I would not be able to do this at all.

In 2003, we had been in Africa over a year and I headed to the States for some fundraising engagments. I stayed for a bit with my brother-in-law and his family. One day as I was visiting with them my little 3 year old niece came running up to me calling, "Aunty Amy, Aunty Amy! I have somethin' for you!" I absentmindedly put out my hand to receive her little gift. Just as it dropped into my outstretched hand it registered what it was--a little roly poly pill bug.

I screamed and threw it back at her without a second thought. Immediately I felt bad and scooped up the little wide-eyed darling for kisses and cuddles but her dad turned to me and said dryly, "And you live in Africa?"

Yes, folks, I hate bugs and live in a land where I'm surrounded by them.

Here are the top 8 reasons (in no particular order) I make a terrible choice for a missionary:

1. I cannot handle bugs well. Even a small insignificant one has been known to make me screech and scream and get a toe tingle.

2. Snakes scare me half to death (did I mention my husband keeps poisonous snakes?).

4. I am claustrophobic in a country where people have no concept of 'personal space'. I have had to do breathing exercises and concentrate on a postage stamp sized view of the sky on bus trips at times.

5. I'm not an adventurous eater. I'm a great cook and I love to try new things but not if they include caterpillars, unusual fish, or things I haven't seen prepared myself.

6. I'm logical and orderly. Most developing nations don't operate on logic (at least not as we define it) and it can drive you batty in a heartbeat.

7. I hate crowds. I didn't even participate in big shopping days in the States because I can't handle crowded stores. Zambia loves crowds. Especially in a village--the smallest happening will draw a crowd very quickly.

8. I'm a control freak of the highest order and if there is anywhere you discover quickly that you are not in control of anything at all it is on the mission field.

God has really worked in my life to make me fit for his service and all my problems make me lean on Him even more.

I do have one thing going for me though.......

I am not what you'd call small and delicate. I'm a little more sturdily built and I have nice 'womanly curves'. 

Did you know that snakes can't see or hear well but they 'see' with their tongues and by feeling vibrations on the ground?

Yes, my size keeps me safe from snakes. They can feel me coming from way across the yard! 

I don't know what I'm going to do if this diet works........


  1. Who better than you? Your humanity, your humor, your testimony of Christ... On top of it, you are raising up a righteous generation that service will be second nature to them.

    I commented to my husband last night about how amazing the internet is. I am living vicariously through Amy in Africa who is serving her fellow men and is sharing experiences so bizarre, they MUST be true (Tom watching the voodoo witch hunt in the village, the bus hitting the large animal story, and naming your cockroaches).

    Hubby got all serious and pious and talked about how he wants to do so much more because we've been given so much. He. Missed. The. Point. Completely.

    Amy is living the dream! She's sharing her experiences with me! I can't laugh at adversity the way you laugh at hurricanes lifting up your tent or Larry the cockroach scuttling across the floor!

    Do you see where I'm going here? Probably to Africa.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. God has such a wonderful sense of humour! And He seems to delight in sending us to places where we are so uncomfortable we have to depend on Him for everything. He is doing wonderful work through you in spite of -- or most likely because of -- your 8 reasons.

    And from what you've written so far of your upbringing, He has been preparing you all of your life for this very thing. I love how He does that!

    By the way, I have all of those character traits too, so perhaps I'm coming to Africa as well. :-)

  3. And yet, for all that, He chose you. Thanks for the reminder that what we can't see or understand, He does and He chooses!

    I am really really glad Chief recommended your blog. I am truly loving it! Thank you!!

  4. My cousin spent a couple of years in Zimbabwe. Thank you for the time you are giving! (Happy Saturday SITSfest!)

  5. Wow, how is Africa?? :)

    Good deal on following God and His plan. *hug*

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!!

  6. This is AMAZING! I am so happy I found your blog.
    Thank you so much for the work you do in Africa.
    I sponsor a child from Uganda through Compassion International and I have always had such a heart for the children of Africa who have been orphaned by the ravages of AIDS.
    What a blessing you are to those children.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest

  7. Stopping by from SITS . . . what a small world, I was in Zambia last November! Lusaka is where our country offices are. We work with the Reformed Church of Zambia in community development. What a beautiful country!

  8. Bugs don't bother me...unless it has 8 legs. !!!
    I am forever forgetting that my phone is at my ear when I get out of the car and I'm frantically searching when I realize I'm talking on it....very embarrassing.
    Popping in from We Believe Blogs!

  9. This is what I needed to read. I told you - I felt like I NEEDED to read your blog today and this is why. God chooses each of us...even with all our imperfections and insecurities. He knows that we can bring glory to His kingdom if we just let Him do it through us. Thanks Amy. :)


Come hang out with me. Your comments brighten my day and make me feel less lonely in my corner of the globe. .Wanna know more about my crazy life? Give a shout!

You can also email me at amymorrowinafricaATgmailDOTcom

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