Saturday, April 7, 2012

When The Call Comes In

It was the evening of March 20, 2012, when the call came in. The steps that led to the coming of this call were all absorbed in a very innate tugging at my heart that I knew was coming directly from the Source, from God. The strange number in my cell phone didn't ring any particular bells in my head at that moment and the San Francisco area code didn't register. Without hesitation, I said, "Hello?". The mellow voice on the other end of the line said, "Hello, can I speak with Barbara Crooks please?" "This is Barbara". I didn't have enough time to even wonder if this was a telemarketer or what this phone call could even remotely be about because Ms. Renee Franzwa, the Program Director over at ProWorld quickly introduced herself and stated her claim. She didn't want me to buy anything. She wasn't trying to collect on a past due bill. Renee Franzwa's call would finally end my search to work as a volunteer in Africa. When I started my inquiries months ago, I didn't have a specific location that I wanted to go to. Didn't know if I would end up in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia or what? I just knew that I could no longer ignore the inner voice inside of myself telling me that I needed to be there. I didn't know if I would work with babies in orphanages or with women for their own empowerment or if I would just protest against genocide. I just knew at the core of my soul I needed to make my way there before the lights on my own life dim.

Talk about taken aback!!! Whew! Everything that I said I wanted was not only in this phone call; it was organized, and sorted out down to the exact location in South Africa where I would be heading. As Renee continued speaking to me, I had my laptop open and I was in complete awe of the beautiful place that God had chosen for me to volunteer. He chose me and the feeling in that was simply inexplicable. I mean c'mon folks we do know that he predetermines all of this stuff early on when he is mapping out the direction of our journey. Do we manifest our own destiny here on earth? Yes, I believe that we do yet at the same time I also believe all of the guidance comes from him. At nearly 35 years-old, I can honestly say that I've always felt a special connection with the Source yet I can't honestly say that I ever felt like a vessel for the Source. God lives in all of us and we are a direct extension of him in the physical sense; to say that I ever really understood that whole concept? "No", I can't say that, because I didn't. To act on God's behalf, to touch others and leave an impact in a stranger's life for no other reason than for the love of God, humanity and the world that I live in offers a feeling of peace. This was a daunting moment for me because it meant your girl BC was really about to put my money where my mouth is or so to speak.

As our phone call continued, Renee advised me that I would be sponsored by ProWorld to go on a working Visa to Cape Town, South Africa. In Cape Town, I would stay with a family there that is familiar with America Volunteers and have housed them before. She told me that my assignment would be to work with my program leader and assist with a literacy program for children. She said that with my background she felt that it would be a great fit for me. I would also be assigned with the task of motivating children not to participate in on-going gang activity within the town. She advised me of the dangers and I felt as if my entire life was coming to an unbelievable screeching halt in 0.5 seconds. Nerves began to succumb me momentarily, but the overall feeling was immense joy. The feeling of knowing that this was something that I felt compelled in my heart to do. ProWorld couldn't have made it any simpler than they did. My 35-years here all made sense in that very moment. It all made sense. It felt as if someone had taken into account the years of nurturing and care-giving that I have provided to my own children and now I could take that same Love to a village. I remember watching world news with my Grandmother as a child and seeing the suffering that Apartheid caused in South Africa. Black people in South Africa were deprived of their citizenship during those years and treated in comparison to animals. Racism continues to run through the veins of many there as it still does here in America. What my memory holds dearest is the images that I have of Nelson Mandela. Anti-Apartheid leaders like him were imprisoned for fighting for the opposition of inequality. That has always touched my heart in ways that made me feel connected to something that wasn't even happening directly in my own country. Racism has always bothered me. Peacemakers have always stirred my spirit. I am a child of the world that has never seen color.

With all of these thoughts running deep through my head I told Renee that I needed to sleep on what she was presenting. I promised that within 24-hours I would provide her with my final response. I heard the slightest disappointment in her voice yet I heard a mustard seed of hope. When we disconnected I was in complete and total shock. I mean I knew that I was going and there was no confusion in that yet I was forced to quickly calculate the details. What would I tell my children? How would I present this to my family & friends? I googled, and googled, and then I googled some more. I thought of everything from mosquitos to what I would eat while I was there. Renee had advised me during our call that I would be provided with unlimited bottled water, which trust me if you knew me that would sound like ice cream with whipped cream and cherries on top lol. I chuckled lightly to myself at the way God works. Just the day before on March 19th, I fully committed to a vegan lifestyle. I chuckled, because I thought to myself, "God really knows what he's doing huh". Had I not become a vegan my stay in South Africa might have been very difficult especially seeing how spoiled we are here in the States when it comes to food. What an amazing God I serve. Your steps will be ordered in such a calculated manner that you can literally go back and retrace them to create a timeline. I could go on and on about how I've known since childhood that my journey would take me to South Africa but we would be here for a very long time.

The question I want to pose to you before I close is this, "When the call comes in, what will you do?" How will you answer when God comes to ask for your assistance? How important is it to you to give your all in this world? How important is it to you to contribute selflessly? How important is it to you to leave your mark? To me it means everything and I promise that I will leave this world with no regrets because I will be the extension of God that he needs for me to be in the most unselfish way that I know how to be. Will the road ahead be easy? "No", I'm almost sure that I'm fully unprepared for how difficult it will actually be. All I know is that with a cup overfilled with faith in my hand I'm ready to grab a bottle of Skin-So-Soft and head to South Africa (I'm most worried about mosquitoes & gangs lol). This is the next phase of the journey for BC. It will be my pleasure to keep all of my readers updated and informed on how this all plays out. I will journal everything from obtaining my Visa to getting all of my vaccinations to leave the United States. This is it folks I'm on my way and I could never have done this without all of this inspiration that I receive right here from all of you. Thank you for supporting a girl's dream to write and leave her story with the world. I love you all! I also encourage all of you to extend your hand to the world in any way that you see fit. A donation, a walk-a-thon, a blood-drive, volunteering at your child's school and the list goes on and on. I promise you that in turn it will help you to fully embrace the experience of life. Leave your footprints on the sands of time.

May God Continue to Bless & Keep you All

Much Luv

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  1. this is awesome!!! did you go?

  2. Hello Lady V:

    I haven't made my way there yet, but August 2013 looks like the month I'll be on my way. The funny thing about God is that when he makes the call, he just needs you to answer. He literally has been ordering my steps every single day since. I feel humble and immensely blessed to have been chosen for this journey. It's absolutely nothing that my mind could have wrapped itself around. God has far exceeded any types of expectations that I could have had for myself. I will keep all of my readers posted on my journey. Thank you for always checking in.

    Much Luv