I'm in constant awe at my own ability to misjudge a situation. It was very easy for me to think that I was going to pack my bags for Africa, and because I truly felt like God called me there and my friends and family were praying for me, that everything was going to go without a hitch.
As great as this trip was, there were still plenty of challenges involved, and certainly different ones than I anticipated. I think there's two reasons. First, because he loves us, God wants to stretch and teach us. In His wisdom, he often calls us out of our comfort zone to do this. When we can't rely on our own ability, we are forced to rely on His. Those are truly the teachable moments. I know they are for me...
Second, Satan is most certainly not happy about the Kingdom building work we do. He's looking to attack on every front...to kill and destroy. He will do everything in his power to discourage and dissuade us from doing the work of our Father.
There were times on this trip where I was uncomfortable and had a clear understanding of why the call it Mission "work", but thankfully, God doesn't spare present pain or comfort for eternal profit. Whether or not I was comfortable had nothing to do with the success of the trip.
The goal of this trip was to equip and empower God's women across Africa. Despite the minor discomforts and challenges, that objective was wildly successful! God proved Himself faithful and showed up in Ghana in a mighty way. The 30+ women we worked with were absolutely amazing and I built wonderful friendships over the two weeks I spent with them. They were so excited to learn how to teach the Women in the Window Inductive Bible Study method and take it back to their own countries and communities to pass on to others.
Many of these women really know what it's like to be uncomfortable. They truly live in the "Hard Places" of this earth. Some have been displaced, persecuted, and even feared for their lives. Yet they "press on for the prize for which they've been called in Christ Jesus".
Are you working in a difficult ministry or circumstances? Don't be discouraged or confused because things seem hard. Those "Hard Places" are exactly where God will do His mightiest work...in you!