Eric Liddell was made famous to most of us by the movie that tells his story of Olympic gold and his love for God, Chariots of Fire. In the 1924 Olympics, Liddell refused to run in the heats for the 100 meters, the race he was favored to win Gold in, because they were on Sunday. He instead ran the 400 meters, a race he was not favored in and knew he had disadvantages due to his racing form. He ran right into history books winning gold with a personal story that shocked the world. The movie ends with these words placed in text on the screen: "Eric Liddell, missionary, died in occupied China at the end of World War II. All of Scotland mourned." The End.
While the movie tells a good story about something Eric Liddell did, the last few words written on the screen at the end of the movie tell the real story of Eric Liddell. Though he was one of the most famous athletes of modern times and the Olympic glory of Scotland. Though he was a Christian who refused to compromise. Though without question, Eric Liddell was made to run. Yet more than anything else, Eric Liddell believed that "God made me for China."
Here is where I can identify with Eric Liddell. While I've never been much of an athlete, I do know what it's like to feel that God has made me for a nation other than where I am from. For over three years now, I have not been able to shake the feeling that God made me for Africa.
How can I love a continent that I have never lived in? God...that's how. Many years ago I began to have an unexplainable fondness of Africa. At the time, I had never been there. As a matter of fact, this past April was my first trip. But over the years, God has given me an undeniable love for Africa and the people who live there. In my recent trip to Kenya, I could not shake the feeling that this was to be home. At least as home as any place in this life can be.
The last several weeks, very little has worked out according to our plans. We are selling our house in order to raise most the money needed to purchase the land in Kenya and build Mercy Children's Home. This is where our family will live and also raise and disciple as many orphans as God will allow. Initially we are planning for room for 80 orphans. However, selling our home is taking much longer than we expected. We have also been experiencing several issues with our 16 year-old car that has 250k miles on it. (I know, imagine that...haha) We just need it for about 4 more months, but these repairs have been getting pretty expensive. We have also been passing around some sort of respiratory illness. It especially has hit Steph and I pretty hard for a couple weeks.
In all this, I realize if we are going to praise God in the good times, we must praise Him in these rough times. We must count it all joy, knowing that God is producing steadfastness in us. (James 1:3) And regardless of whether or not our move to Africa goes according to our plans and whether or not the funds come according to the way we plan, we are moving to Kenya. We have no doubt that this is God's plan for us. We know there is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord (Proverbs 21:30). We trust that God will work out the details according to His plan. We trust that God will provide according to His purposes. We can do nothing else but go, because God made me for Africa.