Friday, August 12, 2011

Traveling to Tanzania

Wednesday. August 10. 2011
I am presently sitting on a plane, half way through my 16-hour flight from Washington DC to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where I will connect to another flight, taking me to Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania. I have been awake for the past 27 hours with the exception of a choppy 3-hour nap. At least another 12 hours of traveling yet awaits me until I reach my final destination!
I have met some great people on the plane, which has made my time sitting here more interesting. On my first flight, I met Ben who is an engineer and he was headed back to work in Virginia. We chatted a bit and had the opportunity to pray together, which was special. I am currently sitting by a missionary who can only hear out of one ear and that is the ear facing the isle . . .so for us sitting on the inside of the row against the window, it is relatively hard to get a hold of him if we need to go to the bathroom or ask a question. We’ve had some funny moments. He is a great guy, though, and headed to Malawi. Right next to me in the middle, is an African taxi cab driver from Las Vegas heading to Nairobi. The time has passed rather quickly between interesting conversations with my seatmate, reading, journaling, watching a couple Discovery documentaries, and eating my airplane meals. I am excited and eager to arrive because I am about to experience a whole lot of new things all at once, and I LOVE experiencing new things! Traveling and seeing how others live across the world is mind boggling to me! Another exciting thing is that I do not have any nervous butterflies in my stomach anymore because God has given me a sense of peace. The knowledge that many friends and loved ones are praying for me gives me reassurance and confidence in my journey. Without a doubt, God is leading my life and I must say I LOVE having God as my personal guide. I couldn’t make my life better or more exciting if I tried! He brings me surprises, teaches me lessons, builds my character, and molds me into the woman He wants me to be all at the same time. I am becoming more aware of His presence in my life and I am feeling more and more overwhelmed by His love and His blessings. When I think about how happy and blessed I am, I just look at the 300 people on this plane around me and hope and pray that one day they will feel overwhelmed by God’s love too. I am sure some of them do already, but I am also aware that many of them are not familiar with the God that I know. We live in a great mission field and we have an exciting job: bringing people to know the same overwhelming happiness, truth, and joy that we find because we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. On Page 577 of the hymnal is one of my favorite hymns, “In the Heart of Jesus.” The words contained in the third verse are particularly powerful to me. “In the field of Jesus there is work for you; such as even angels might rejoice to do; why stand idly sighing for some lifework grand, while the field of Jesus seeks your reaping hand?” This verse is a reality check for me. How often do we stand around dreaming of what we can do to make our life grand, make lots of money, and draw attention to ourselves? Whether we realize it or not, I think we all stumble into this trap repeatedly because we live in a self-focused society that encourages it. The field of Jesus is always open for workers, though, and I find it a privilege to be a worker for Christ doing a job that counts for something eternal. Winning souls to the heart of Jesus in order to further God’s kingdom is an important job. We have a high calling! To introduce someone to Jesus and then see them in heaven will bring you eternal joy. It will also bring God eternal joy!
My computer is going to die, so that is it for my thoughts during flight 501, Washington DC – Addis Ababa.


  1. Beth I'm so happy to be reading your blog! How inspiring! You are in our prayers and so glad you are in Tanzania--a wonderful country with beautiful people and language!

  2. Oh dear Bethany! I'm so glad to hear that God's given you peace! Praise Him!

    I love the way you write. I LOVE YOU!!! Praying for you! - Melissa

  3. Beth...fascinating to read what God is already doing in your life, and to feel the enthusiasm you have to serve! Praying for you every day! With love and admiration, Auntie Karen xo