Friday, August 30, 2013

The Tough Question

How does one get physically, mentally and emotionally ready to leave everything that is known and comfortable for a year? This has been the question that has been floating around in my brain these last couple days. As I begin to check things off my to-do list labeled “Things to do before Tanzania”, I’m beginning to realize that this is a fair and difficult question to answer.
Physically seems to be the easiest, so I’ll start with what I’ve discovered. Two 50lbs suitcases seems incredibly small when it’s compared to the huge pile of things I see sitting in the corner or my room that I need to take with me. By deflating soccer balls, putting items in my shoes, rolling up my skirts, I just might have enough space, and if that still doesn’t work, I’ll put it in a tub to be stored for a year in my sister’s basement. I guess if it doesn’t fit, I won’t miss it, right? I love looking at all the donated items in my pile from all of my friends and family! How immensely I’ve been blessed! Once again, God exceeded my expectations! These will most definitely be the first things I’ll pack! I’ve also done other things, like cleaned up my bedroom, cancelled my cell phone, called my credit card company, and put my car into storage. It seems like the list is getting larger rather than smaller, but I know that it will all get done. On a side note, if you would like to be in contact with me email and mail (yes, I mean snail mail) would be the best. My email address is (but I might be getting a different one for when I’m there) and my address will be: Alexandra Dodde c/o Village Schools Tanzania, Box 183 Mafinga, Tanzania. I will be receiving another address once I get to my school, once I get that address, I will put that on here as well! If you would like to receive email updates, please send me your email address and I’ll add you to the list.

Mentally and emotionally are both extremely difficult. How does one mentally prepare herself when there are still so many questions that I don’t know the answer to, and won’t know the answer to until I’m actually in Tanzania? I guess I’m just trying to remain incredibly flexible! I always considered myself as flexible before this whole journey, but my flexibility has been tested over and over throughout the preparations! I actually love it! All of these unknowns are drawing me closer to God, because I’ve had to learn to give up control. James 4:8a says, “Come near to God, and he will come near to you.” Oh to have Christ draw near to me is what I strive to live for in my life!

I cannot even begin to estimate the many times I’ve answered a question with “Well, I don’t really know the answer to that question, but I’ll know the answer when I get there.” I’ve just completed the Bible study “Stepping Up” by Beth Moore, with my mom, sisters and a couple other amazing women. The Bible study is about how our life is a pilgrimage towards Mt. Zion. I always love God’s timing. There could not have been a better Bible study for me to do this summer. One of the things that Beth Moore talks about is the unknowns of life. We’ve all had them, the things that happen when we want to just ask God, “why?” Why did you let this happen? And through this journey I’ve had a lot of why moments. But one thing this journey has taught me is, I don’t know the answers but the people of VST (Village Schools Tanzania) do, and trust me, their answer is a whole lot better than the one that I could try to conjure up. Just like with our whys before God. We don’t know the answers, but He does, and He has very good reason for them. Deut. 29: 29 says “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” “What God has revealed to us are meant for us to study, ponder, teach and share. The secret things however, belong to amazing, all-knowing God.  Over and over Scripture attests that God can do no wrong. It also blatantly assures us He is sovereign and could stop any ill. How can I make those ends meet? I can’t…but God can and one day will.” (Beth Moore, Stepping Up) Beth goes on to say, “Out of the ashes of the unfathomable, sooner than later our Lazarus-faith must rise from the dead-questions still unanswered-or the Devil has won.” Anselm, an eleventh-century English monk says,

“I do not seek, O Lord, to penetrate thy depths. I by no means think my intellect equal to them: but I long to understand in some degrees thy truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do no seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe, that I may understand.”
Emotionally. Man, that’s a tough one. How do I prepare to say goodbye to my family? To say goodbye to my friends? Once again, I have to leave that up to God. Psalm 84:7 says, “They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” God promises us the grace that we need for every situation. God’s grace is like the manna that was given to the Israelites when they were wondering the desert for 40 years. If they would try to save the manna from day to day, it would turn moldy. How often do I try to use the grace that God gave me for one situation for the situation that I’m currently in? I know that God will give me the grace that I need to step onto that plane. It will be different then the grace that I needed for any other situation I’ve been in. Thank God for his custom and daily grace!

1 comment:

  1. May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace! We love you and will miss you! Dad and Mom