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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 10 comments

I started my story by explaining how God convinced this invalid to go on a mission trip to Kenya (Africa!)

Then I recounted the events of my horrific first day there.

But if I hadn't taken the leap of faith, if I hadn't overcome all those obstacles (living to tell about it counts as overcoming in my book), I would never have experienced an honest-to-goodness miracle!

When we were preparing for that trip God made sure I didn't hear one thing that would discourage me from going, because He knew it would only take one negative remark to keep me firmly planted in my comfort zone. When we came home, however, there were no holds barred. It seemed that everywhere I turned someone was saying, "I never thought you'd actually go." That included our team leader, who also informed me he thought I was the least likely to go back.

That trip was the adventure of a lifetime yet, like childbirth, I was glad it was over and vowed never to do it again.

I'll give you one guess as to who were the ONLY ones to go back...

Hint: I have more than one child :)

I would love to tell you that immediately I recognized God's calling and started making plans to return, but that's not what happened. Instead, I had a repeat of events prior to the first trip because, again, I couldn't believe God wanted ME to do THIS. Wasn't He paying attention to how difficult it was for me the first time? Wasn't that supposed to be a ONCE in a lifetime trip?

As with the first trip, I started listing everything I believed God was saying to me so when I started freaking out I could go back and be reassured that this was indeed what He wanted me to do, crazy as it seemed.

And just like the first trip, I sustained an injury just before we left. Unfortunately, with me it didn't take much...

As you can see, I'm on a first name basis with my physical therapists (and still see two out of the three today.) My injury occurred the day after Thanksgiving, which is why none of the therapists I saw were available. We were scheduled to fly out the next day and, once again, I was in considerable pain and could barely move. 

I desperately tried to find someone who could help me, but no matter who I contacted I was told me the same thing - for liability reasons they couldn't treat me without a full exam, and they couldn't do that until Monday. 

When I would be on the other side of the planet.

Thankfully my husband Bob remembered that someone who attended our church was a physical therapist. Fortunately for me, Aaron was more concerned about my condition than liability. So, with me patched together as good as possible and Bob equipped to provide makeshift adjustments while we were gone, we embarked on our second mission trip to Kenya.

We traveled to the same island in Lake Victoria that we served at on our previous trip. The good news was that this time, rather than sleeping in tents, we had real beds!

The bad news was, I spent much of my trip lying on it flat on my back. 

This trip was even more difficult for me physically than the first one; with my back was acting up the entire trip. But God knows what we need when we need it, and He knew this time I really did need a bed. Plus, that bed was in a makeshift bedroom set up in one of the classrooms on the school campus. That meant we were staying right where the conference we were assisting with was held, so I was able to participate with the team and recover in between.

On this trip, we served alongside a team of primarily pastors who traveled from the mainland. At one point we took to large boatloads of students over to a neighboring island where they did acts of service and the gospel was preached.

Pastor Elisha was an evangelist and the main speaker at the conference. Between the morning training sessions and time spent visiting after the daily evening service we came to know him quite well.

Lisa, Elisha and Kingstone
(I am convinced that any photo from the mission field where people look good is a set-up!)

The final evening of the conference concluded with prayer. Not the reserved type of prayer we have here, but a fire and brimstone type prayer running concurrent to praise and worship. I saw people responding to the prayer and thought, "This is it! This is why God brought me here! I'm going to be healed!"

Elisha prayed.

I agreed.




I have to admit I was not only discouraged; I was angry. I didn't understand why I had to go through the strain of being there again. I didn't understand why God didn't heal me when I knew He could if He wanted to.

Elisha told me later that God impressed upon him that there would be healing, just not right away. I had already been struggling with this pain for 9 years. In my eyes, it was already "not right away."

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Travel home was difficult, as was adjusting back to the 8 hour time change. (For some reason the time change is always harder for me returning home than it is going over.)  

I decided I was done.

I was done going to Kenya.

I was done struggling to understand God's call.

I was done getting my hopes up about healing.

I decided to make a declaration so outlandish that there would be no way it could ever happen.



I said that if God wanted us to go to Kenya again someone would have to specifically invite us. Because that never happens. Not to nobodies like us; especially incapacitated ones like me. (Note - I wrote this before I came across the journal entry below.)

I wrote that in May of 2007, about 5 months after our 2nd trip to Kenya.

Two months later I learned what God had in store for this "nobody."

Elisha sent us an email inviting us to visit his village on the mainland.

I didn't question.

I didn't argue.

I just started making plans.

Little did I know, this next trip would be the most difficult - by far

and I would finally learn why God keeps sending us to Kenya.

To be continued...

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10 Responses so far.

  1. Unknown says:

    Lisa, Stopping in from Faith Filled Friday. I loved the first part of this story, and now the second is just as exciting. I can't wait to hear the ending. Don't keep us in suspense for long. So glad you were obedient to God's call.

  2. Unknown says:

    Anxiously anticipating next week's adventure. My three biggest concerns are managing my pain tbeing able to b and three hoping that it's not raining her whole trip

  3. Love, love, love this testimony! What gives me hope is that no matter how stubborn or set in our ways, God can still reach us & use us, & instead of punishing us, He rewards us out of grace! Always..pure grace! In my heart I WANT to do God's will. It's just NOT my natural inclination. I'm so glad He has great patience & love for me! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

  4. Unknown says:

    Wow Lisa-talk about totally trusting, believing obedience and courage! I know that God blinded you the first time. But to keep going back-l'm so afraid that
    I could not have made it there at all. Living in a body of daily horrific torture
    and now back you go<3 So much love,giving and devotion-your amazing!

  5. God must surely have a sense of humor. Wow your trips to Kenya are exciting and I know God has used you there and here as well. Never give up and know that God loves you very much. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

  6. Unknown says:

    Again a cliffhanger! But! I get to see you very soon (maybe you'll tell me in person??)!

  7. caryjo says:

    The photos made it look like 'home" to me in Uganda and connected to Lake Vic. And your story hits reality.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lisa, I can't wait to read the rest. Glad you found encouragement in my post today.

  9. Such an amazing story you have, Lisa. I will be patiently waiting for your next post.

  10. Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream's City of Links on Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week :)

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