If there is one thing I have gotten good at whilst in Africa, it would be waiting.
I have had plenty of opportunities to learn this valuable skill. There are those times that I am in eager expectation for a package in the mail, but have to remind myself that the South African postal service has taken upon itself the duty of helping us to improve our patience. I recall waiting once with my Mum in a queue for the one ATM in a town in Botswana, while the security guard slowly demonstrated to about 100 new recruits to the army how to use their debit card. The torturous N1 highway between Pretoria and Johannesburg has taught me to wait, as has the simple phrase “Now now”, which in South Africa can mean anything from “Sometime in the next 5 minutes” to “Sometime in the next 5 months”.
So if I am learning to wait in people, why is it so hard to wait on God, and His timing?
Nearly two years ago, God gave me an idea. I was praying about how we could reach more people with information about HIV/AIDS, and the hope they can have in Christ, when I came up with the brilliant notion of using radio. I got right to work, doing my research and preparing project proposals to send out to all the radio stations in Pretoria, waiting for a positive response from one of them.
Not to be discouraged, I kept praying; I was recording a voice over for an OM video at a Christian radio station one time, when when of the technicians heard me specking and decided I had a voice for radio (perhaps a face for radio too??). She made me do an audition piece on the spot, and said they would call me. Maybe this would be my foot in the door! I waited.
Sure enough, God opened another opportunity for me. I literally bumped into a DJ from another radio station one day, who promised to share my proposal with the guys at the Top. This resulted in a five minute interview on the radio one evening. That was it. I was so disappointed. This was not what God had shown me!
That was a year ago. I told God that I didn’t have the foggiest idea of what I must do next, and couldn’t he please show me what to do, because I was completely bamboozled. Until then, I would wait. Actually, I guess I kind of had given up on waiting, because a few weeks ago, after months sitting on the corner of my desk in readiness, I finally shoved my radio proposal on my bookshelf. I’m not really a woman of much faith.
And then today Nico, my boss, walks into my office, and tells me he bumped into someone who works with Transworld Radio (another missions agency), who are busy working on HIV/AIDS programs for Africa. Wouldn’t I like to drop them an email?
God works in amazing ways. Maybe nothing will come out of this. Maybe actually something will. I’ll do my best to keep up my end of the responsibilities, and then I’ll leave the rest up to God. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep waiting.