Monday, May 5, 2008

Hi, this is Jo Franz finally writing again!

It's been awhile since I've written--way too long! Let me explain...

Have you ever planned something so exciting, so worthwhile, so overly-time consuming you could hardly wait?

Well, that's what Ray and I were doing. Planning. Preparing. Scheduling. Then came getting a house sitter (and of course, since we have a cat who is totally a lover--I know, I know, you dog-lovers can't imagine a cat like Jaz, but he is a lover of being loved--the house sitter is also our Jaz-sitter.) Letting the neighbors know about it all. You know--all those details you have numbered on your "to-do" list.

Then comes the huge crashing disappointment of confusion as it all falls apart.

Our trip in the works since late November to Lagos, Nigeria, was cancelled the day we were to depart. All our packed bags had to be unpacked. All the calls made had to be remade, now with cancellations. All the conferees for the two conferences we were to speak at had to be notified that "due to logistics" it wasn't going to occur.

Needless to say, I cried out to God like Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:8 that he was "perplexed, but not in despair." I was certainly confused, but I trusted God to ultimately know what was going on and be able to work it "all together for good" as written by Paul in Romans 8:28. We thanked God "in all things" as Paul also wrote in Thessalonians 5:18 and "for all things" in Ephesians 5:20.

But we still felt sad. Again, like Paul, who was "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2Corinthians 6:10). We took the page off my website about going to Nigeria. We sent emails to our host, wondering how she was doing.

Guess what? God was doing a work in our lives, our host's life, her husband's (who paid for it all and was the one who cancelled it due to the agent who had taken their money while paying for our tickets with stolen US credit cards, which we were notified had been cancelled by the airline themselves!)

And within a few hours of emails back and forth we had replanned the entire event for August 2008 with a new vigor, a new excitement, and a new agenda--planned by God!
Nothing has been wasted. We have learned about how to make the flights now, and we're all so excited.

Maybe I'll be able to post more often like I had planned all along! I took last week off to make sure the stress of the prior week wouldn't deplete me too much. I even read a novel that absorbed and blessed me--I haven't taken time to do that in--well, I can't remember how long!

With multiple sclerosis a constant in our lives, we knew this trip to Africa would be a challenge anyway. But what is life without challenges? I want to live adventurously no matter what! I can hardly wait all over again!

Have a great week!

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