Collision of Provision: Style Africana!
Perhaps this was not the first time that a passenger arriving in dusty Dakar Airport was declared ‘luggageless.’ But in this instance, it was not the result of an overloaded airplane or a confused airport employee. No, this time, Lilie found herself empty-handed, because of what God had asked her to do.
“1When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.” – Luke 9:1-3
Over the last 3 months, it had been unthinkable yet undeniable. It appeared on her welcome card, when she first read the verse she thought to herself, ‘I hope this isn’t legit..! like this better not be literal’. When it was repeatedly mentioned in class, God showed her that this was no coincidence .
After she shared her conviction she was met with many furrowed brows. It seemed crazy to want to go on a 2 1/2 month outreach surf trip without even a swimming costume. But as He persisted in reminding her of the passage and what he was asking her to do, she resolved in her spirit that he was serious about this, so she was going to get serious. It was after her bold decision that the doubts came:
‘How will I contact people?’.
‘How can I go on a surf trip without a surfboard?’
‘Can I not even take my toothbrush?!’
Lilie spent much time asking God if He was really sure that he was asking this of her. God was desperate to show her his faithfulness and gave her the ‘Go Ahead’ every time.
When Lilie joked to herself that she would layer up on clothes, she was led to a verse where Jesus sends out his disciples and specifically tells them not to take two coats! (See Luke 9:3 and Mark 6:9).’He told them: “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.’ – Luke 9:3 (Emphasis added).
“At the time I really didn’t understand why God was asking me to do something so crazy… but I realized why so much afterwards.”
Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. – Luke 22:35
So off she set. To two new continents for 73 days with nothing besides she put on that morning and her passport in hand.
A great thing about God is that whenever he asks us to step out in faith, He never leaves us alone but journeys with us. He holds our hand and resolves prayers and needs in ways which are marked by His unique thumbprint.
The myriad of ways the Lord provided for this chicka is incredible. Lilie’s debut surf in Senegal, sporting her hippy pants and T-shirt, was not uneventful. It was not long before there was a grand rip in the thin material, and a gaping hole was birthed. The hole stretched over almost the whole top half of the back of her pants. The only other surfer near her seeing her swimming around clasping her board was persistent in trying to wave her over. We imagine that he wanted to enlighten this flailing blondie that surfing involves actually getting on the board.
As Lilie made a beeline for the shore, she managed to place the green foamy board on her lap, as she did her best to keep her derrière glued to the sand.
It was about 45 minutes later, when Tanja and I saw the frantically waving figure. Noting that the board was on her instead of her on the board, we approached – if not only to seriously question her surfing techniques. We arrived to a semi-hysterically laughing Lilie who was elated to see us. As she recalled, with tears of laughter the last hour spent doing her best to remain seated, whilst the waves pushed her up and down, we couldn’t help but collapse in giggles. We soon discovered that the kind-faced Senegalese boy standing next to Lily had been speaking Wolof to her throughout most of the events. We can only imagine what he thought of this curious ‘tourist’. Tanja was first to simmer down and between chuckles prayed for Lilie. We stood there baffled but in good spirits.
It wasn’t long before a Stylish Senegalese man who’d obviously picked up on the situation came running to rescue. Armed with a black scarf, he quickly wrapped it around her. The man then accompanied Lilie, Talulah and I as we went looking for the rest of our team. After searching for a while, the man asked for his scarf back. Lilia said that she couldn’t do that… because she had no pants. So he swiftly removed his trousers…only to reveal that he was wearing a second pair of trousers! Yes, He was wearing two pairs that day – TO THE BEACH. We learned that one was for exercising and the other was for looking chic afterwards!
Eventually we reunited with Melina and Sam. « This is our friend in white, » said Melina introducing us to the smiley man looking ravishing all in white. Lilie remembered how God had told her that she would meet a man in white. Confused, he asked Lilie if she was actually surfing in pants. After she explained, he declared that she couldn’t surf in pants! He went in search of his friend’s shorts for her to borrow. After she tried to protest he took off his trousers and presented her with his own shorts! Thank the Lord for over-prepared Senegalese men.
The collision of provision apparent in day 4 ended off with packets of water being lavished upon us. The kindness of God gave Lilie a glimpse into just how He was going to surprise her.
Soon after, Lilie’s shirt which was drying on the flat roof of the house would blow away in the night but she would find one the next morning.
9 weeks later, as Lilie saw many more open hands and gifts, she could really testify to the fact that God never leaves us alone when he asks crazy things of us. Be encouraged, for He does not call the equipped but He equips as He calls.
35Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. – Luke 22:35