I finished filling out five visa applications online for our trip to Kenya this November and checked it off my list. We don’t normally travel overseas during the school year with our kids, but we have our first graduation of two residents at Mercy House, an important board meeting, a certificate ceremony for these new entrepreneurs and a wedding we wouldn’t miss for anything–all in the same week.
The papers were on the kitchen counter, awaiting a money order and updated passport photos when I heard about the terror attack in Nairobi. I quickly emailed Maureen to check on her and her family. I knew the attack wasn’t too close to the organization’s residential home, but I had visited Nairobi’s best mall in April to troubleshoot the phone I’d brought for Maureen.
I watched the news on my phone, read tweets, followed the events very closely, those visa applications burning a hot hole in my heart as fear began to set in. I’m afraid of a lot of things. My husband, who knows me so well, told me to stop after I’d read what this could mean longterm for Kenya.
He said, “Have you ever wanted to go to NYC?” He knew my answer before he asked. It’s on my list.
“3000 people died in terrorist attacks, Kristen. Terror is everywhere. It’s here, too,” he said.
As the hostage situation worsened, we couldn’t keep the news from our kids any longer and they asked a lot of questions. It was one of those surreal conversations you don’t want to have as a parent. There are a lot of things that scare me: my teenager’s room, traveling overseas by myself and raising my kids in an age where terrorists target innocent people.
We live in a world filled with death, violence, disease and terror and it is steadily getting worse.
It scares me.
But I will not let fear dictate what I do and I will not raise my children to be afraid of evil.
“You might think we are being reckless. I think we are in far greater danger of being safe in our modern Christianity. We do not bow at the alter of safety. This is what it means to follow Jesus, to cling to Him in the face of danger,” David Platt.
Because I’m much more afraid of letting fear determine how I live.
While our world talks about war, our government plans to shut down and terrorists hijack shopping malls, we live scared.
We believe God is greater than the evil in this world.
We believe God orders our steps and has a plan.
We believe God had predetermined when we will live and die.
We believe Jesus is coming back.
The visa applications are still on my counter because the risk of our government shutdown threatens to put our passports in limbo. But we won’t let that stop us from our yes. We are living scared and that’s better than living safe.