a change of plans.


4 hour lunch visit. unidentifiable chicken parts. tropical agriculture lesson. falling asleep to a thunder storm. beef liver. balancing lessons. inventory of a mission house. a giant ant. eating matoke with fingers. power outages. mud pies. sugar in a 2 year old. pizza night with the team. market day chaos. trips to the moon on a swing. conversations & m&ms.

life in africa.

it’s raining as I type. God refreshing the earth from a hot, dusty, sticky saturday. I think of my family across an ocean just waking up, or just rolling over. it’s been a long day, or so I think. time is a mangled mess in africa. on monday, a week seems like a month. by friday it feels like it was only a day. but the idea of 2 more months has the weight of 2 more years. but I am told time flies.

speaking of time…. my time of return has changed. flash back to 5 months ago. I was running before the sun awakes, asking God for provisions to go to africa. by the end of october, I was jumping up & down on a bus announcing I had all my support. 1 & a half months later, God provided $2,600 EXTRA. why the excess? I asked God. but there was a silence that did not yield an answer

until the night before I left. I was laying in bed praying for the stevens, the family for whom I would soon become a nanny. in april, michael & lesley & little finch will travel to spain to have baby boy #2. I thought of all the plans & needs childbirth brings, especially one in a different country. what will they do with finch? as soon as the thought arose, God replied, you’ll go. umm…. God, that isn’t part of the plan.

sure enough, the next day, matt from world harvest asked if I would be willing to go to spain with michael & lesley to continue to watch finch. I said I’d think about it.

spain didn’t relent. one day after landing, michael brought up the need for finch-care in spain. wold harvest also needs child care at their missions conference in huelva, spain, at the end of may. he had been told that I had the extra money. they had been praying for someone to come, & I fit that position.

so after time on my knees, some parental guidance, & much needed verbal processing, I committed to go to spain with the stevens. the extra money I raised will take care of most of the flying costs, however I have to raise a little more support to pay for living, eating, and traveling expenses while in Spain. raising support while on the field seems nearly impossible. as the ugandans would say, “I am fearing.”  but if there’s anything I’ve learned thus far, it would be that I serve the God of the impossible.

in recap, here is a brief description of the rest of my time overseas:

lesley & michael are flying out of uganda on april 10th, exactly 1 week before I was planned to fly out. my travel visa is good for only 3 months, & it expires just before I would leave uganda on april 17th. rather than mess with having to renew the visa, I will leave a few days early with the stevens.

we will fly to london & stay overnight. the next day we will fly into malaga, spain. for the next 6 weeks, I will continue to serve michael & lesley by taking care of finch. lesley will be close to her due date, & michael will be working from a distance. we have rooms reserved at the YWAM (Youth with a Mission) guesthouse in torremolinos, Spain, (just outside of Malaga) from April 11th to May 25th. the cost to stay there is approximately $20/day/person, including breakfast.

may 24 will find us traveling by train to huelva, spain, for the WHM conference. I will be part of the childcare team, taking care of the missionary families’ children for a few hours each day. because of this service, my major expenses are paid for at the conference.

the conference ends june 1 & that afternoon the stevens & I will begin a long 3 days of traveling back to birmingham, al. we will fly to faro, portugal & stay overnight. the next day, we will continue onto london & stay in a hotel. & finally, on june 3, we will fly from london to DFW to BIRMINGHAM!

then I sleep for a month.


family & friends have been praying that God would make it clear what I was supposed to do with the extra money. those prayers have been answered. now join with me in praying for peace of mind as I continue to readjust to these new plans. pray that the support would be raised. (if you feel led to give, here is my support page through world harvest.) pray that I will learn to abide in Christ each day here. & lastly, pray for my relationship with the stevens to continue to grow strong as I spend more time with them & their son.

God has a purpose & plan for everything. it is frustrating, for a planner like me, when my plan is different than God’s. but from prior lessons leanred, I know it’s best to submit rather than resist.

so here’s to african markets, submission, & a few weeks in spain.


4 thoughts on “a change of plans.

  1. Varina, I miss seeing your smiling face in church on Sundays. I miss watching you as God seems to shine a light directly on you and through you.
    You need to know that you get me through the worst part of Bootcamp each MW and Fri. I have to run around the track and the only way I can do it is to focus on you and pray for you as I struggle to put one foot in front of the other. You helped me run my first mile last Friday without stopping. Thank you.
    I am so excited for this new opportunity you have to go to Spain. I know it will be difficult to extend your time away knowing that you are supposed to be home seeing your family. God really trusts you. I’ll keep praying for you as I run Heardmont track. Stay faithful. I live you, Friend.
    Pam Clark

    • That’s awesome! I’m glad that running brings you to prayer! ha! Thank you for the encouragement and prayers. I soak them up here. Great job on your mile! That’s always so exciting! Keep it up!

    • That’s awesome! I’m glad that running brings you to prayer! ha! Thank you for the encouragement and prayers. I soak them up here. Great job on your mile! That’s always so exciting! Keep it up!

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