Chris Loehmer Kincaid has learned that, when it comes to God’s purposes, to everything there is a season.
Every night at the dinner table, when I was growing up, I was moved as we watched the evening news unfold stories of sorrow and poverty at the other end of the world.
A commercial for the Peace Corps would invariably play. ‘The toughest job you’ll ever love’ was the job I wanted, to travel to a third world country and make a difference.
God had other plans, it seemed. I married, became a medical assistant, had two children and took out a mortgage. That trip to a third world country became an unobtainable dream.
Until God decided it was the right time.
I was in my mid-forties, when God called me to take a trip to Africa. I baulked at the idea. I thought I was too old, I wasn’t healthy enough, I didn’t have the money, I was too shy and insecure.
God Kept After Me
Before I knew it, I was on a plane to Kenya with a mission team of fourteen others, including my daughter, then sixteen.
When I returned home after two weeks, I hated to admit how disappointed I was: I hadn’t changed the world or made a difference.
But God knew better. He had it all figured out.
Four years later, when God called my daughter to return to Kenya for a six-month volunteer trip, I felt Him calling me to start writing about my first experience in Africa.
As I wrote my memoir, A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven, I realized I had made a difference. I had changed lives, for the time I was there, at least.
I decided that was enough. That was what I was meant to do.
God Knew It Wasn’t Enough
He wasn’t finished with me. During the writing and publishing of my book, I could feel Kenya, drawing me back. When my daughter started plans for her third trip to Africa last year, no one had to twist my arm to make me book a plane ticket with her.
It seemed this second trip to Kenya was what God had been waiting for, all along. He’d had this planned for an entire decade.
His Ways are Truly Perfect
While in Kenya last May, my daughter and I formed a non-profit organization to help the people we had met who were living in severe poverty: Tumaini Volunteers Inc. was born.
Our goal is to assist developing communities in Kenya by providing sustainable projects to help them become self-sufficient.
In January 2014, we applied for tax exempt status and hope to begin taking groups of volunteers to Africa to work on these projects soon.
My deepest wish is that these volunteers not only make the lives of others better, but that they see this as part of God’s plan for them as well.
Because, by changing the world, we are changing ourselves.
Chris Loehmer Kincaid lives in Wisconsin with her husband, 4 cats and a dog. She has worked in the medical field for over 25 years. Her first book, A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven, was published in November, 2012. Her second, The Christmas Story in Forty Days, was released in 2013. She has a website and a blog.