Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Questions Abound

Coming back home from a vacation is always tough because you want to stay where you are at. Coming back home from family visits during the holidays is tough because you can't quite seem to have enough of the food you grew up eating. As much as we love HOME, getting there when you have been in a place that steals or has some of your heart can be difficult.

Much is the same for me when I leave Ethiopia. It quite simply is never easy. The toughest part is leaving the relationships and kids you have come to care so dear for. And it isn't like leaving a place that is a days drive or so away. That being said, life doesn't stop here in the states when I am gone. So while I am suppose to be reading 200+ pages worth of journals before I head off to England in July, I am struggling to do so.

I continue to be conflicted with the direction God has the McGoo family headed. One on hand, I love my life here in the US. I have a lot of family, friends, furbabies, a great gig with the soccer program, and an incredible church home. I really don't want to go anywhere. However, the more I am around safety, security, suburbs, and a world that is built on keeping up with the Jones's, the more I'm drawn to get away from it.

It is so easy to log on to Facebook and see a comfortable life in store for me and my network. The problem is that I don't know that I want that. And I know that God doesn't want that for me. Yeah, I want to provide for my family, but what is providing? Buying a large house with a picket fence? Getting the biggest car I can get because I think I deserve it (I've driven a 96 Saturn since I bought it brand new)? It's just not me. And I don't think that is what God has for me. I'm not saying it is all wrong, but I am constantly reminded of the things that do not matter the more I get out of my comfortable surroundings.

I'm basically a man torn between a life of comfort with a society that tells me I deserve all I should have and a life of servant-hood with a God that tells me less is more.

I have a confession to make. I went on this last trip to Ethiopia thinking it might be my last for a long time. I thought I could get this sports ministry program up and running and they wouldn't need me anymore. Exact opposite. I left with more questions than resolved answers. I left knowing that I was needed there more than I could have imagined. I left after having conversations with missionaries, government officials, and university presidents and ultimately God telling me they needed more of me. That after a years worth of work, I hadn't even touched the surface of what needed to be accomplished.

One can certainly be discouraged by it all you know? However, God let me see what was possible. God showed me how when listening to him, he'd provide the way. I had a government official tell Nega (The director of Onesimus Children's Development Association) that if I had come all the way from America to tell people about Christ, he thought it would be good if he listened and learned more.

My Ethiopian Princess - Ruth

And just like that, God said, "See Kelly. I'm here and I am with you."

I spoke with a missionary who said it took years of prayer for him and his family to decide to GO. The two hours worth of conversation with him was the best part of my trip. It affirmed in me that I didn't have to make a rash decision about things and that "providing" for my family didn't have to entail the American way of providing with big cars, big boats, private schooling, and the latest trends. I bought my first apple product before I went. Now I'm sick to my stomach because of it. I could have made better use of that money.

All of this just affirms that I have a lot of prayer and decisions to make over the course of the next two years (While Mrs. McGoo is in nursing school), but I know one thing is for sure. I'll be back in Ethiopia sooner than I thought.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

African Adventures & Wayne Rooney

Today I head out to Ethiopia for the third time in a year. You can read more about what my experiences will be like while I'm there on The Forsaken Children blog.

I just found out a few days ago that I'll be speaking to about 300 or so people at the local university in Addis Ababa. I'm told I can share my faith and incorporate it into sports. Yeah...that's all I have to go on.

I do have one thing going for me. Most everyone there thinks I am Wayne Rooney. If you don't know who Wayne Rooney is, look him up. Pretty famous footballer for Manchester United. So while I have many nicknames here in the states, Rooney is what I get called in Ethiopia and because of that, they'll listen to me. Hey, God uses people...

Do you see a resemblance? I don't.