Grace Two: On My Way to AACC

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

062Last week, my Southern Africa Area Program Director colleague and I took a ten-hour plane ride to Istanbul and then another six-hour ride to Kigali and then forty minutes on to Entebbe in Uganda. We were going to the All Africa Conference of Churches Jubilee Assembly. It was my first opportunity to go to such an event and Ben was taking me along to introduce me to some folks.

I met Grace on a Turkish Airline’s airplane from Istanbul to Entebbe Uganda. Now, this is not the same Grace I met in the airport in Brussels. We began our conversation in the long line to use one of the two airplane “water closets.” It started out slowly; we recognized that we both had US accents. Then the conversation about where we were going and what we were doing began. It was a slowly evolving conversation. It evolved slowly because I am always hesitant to begin a conversation with “I work for the church.” You never know what people think or feel about church work and church workers especially “missionaries.”

There was no hesitance once I found out that Grace was in seminary. She was going to Kigali, Rwanda to spend three months doing mission work as her field experience for Princeton Seminary. So she is going to be what we would call in our Global Mission language a “short-term missionary.” She was doing this work as part of her journey to being ordained in the Presbyterian Church.

I told her that I worked for the ELCA and she asked was a pastor. I told her I was and we talked a little about my last call in Summit, New Jersey. She got excited about meeting a female pastor. And so as we returned to our seats the conversation continued. I told her that being a pastor is the most wonderful, terrible think you can do. And you know it is… full of excitement, heartbreak and love and I cannot imagine my life doing or being anything else. It was delightful to have this conversation and to be reminded of all that God has done in my life. God has indeed provided for me in this vocation much joy, adventure, love and of course grace.

I am westafricabound.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kim Krogstad
    Jun 13, 2013 @ 01:20:46

    Spot on, my friend…”the most wonderful, terrible thing you can do…..full of excitement, heartbreak, and love” Thanks once again for sharing your heart and your beautiful spirit in such powerful ways!


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