It has obviously been more than a few months since I have been back from Africa and I still miss it. I miss waking up to a loud bird outside my window, to breakfast with my friends, going to villages and meeting poeple who seemed to have greater faith than I had in my pinkie finger and they were getting by, seeing children who had so much joy and even through hard times could say ” God is good.” i still have people come up to me and ask me if I had a good trip and and I still say yes then draw a blank because I have no idea how to express all of the things that I saw and the people that I met. I feel like if I could take those memories and put it on a cd in slideshow fomat, it would be a dream come true. I made this blog for Africa and I didn’t even have time to use while in Africa. Being back and having all of those memories still resonates with me. i feel like I think about Africa and the kids I met and people I worked with almost everyday and it makes me want to cry.
That’s the thing about a mission trip, sometimes we set off with this mission to experience culture and philanthropic nirvana while gracing other people with our presence. Little do we know that that is hardly what you get. Going on this trip made me see my life differently because I actually took the time to hear about someone elses. It is easy to think that you have it bad when you have a packed schedule, tons of homework and chores, and no food that you have the taste for in your fridge, not to mention the lack of sleep due to electronics that hardly need our attention. It isnt until we someone with truly nothing or rather less than we could ever think we could survive with that we realize how petty we are.
The people of Africa living in rural villages trying to get by, arise their kids and send them to school can still find time to praise the Lord no matter what. So what is my excuse? I dont have one. There is a man in Africa who is blind and in a wheel chair and lives with his two sons and is taken care of by and looked after by the caregivers of that village. This man couldn’t see or walk, and the first thing that came to my mind was not pity, but joy and astonishment. This man was so spunky and happy. His laugh alone could light up the world. There are people just like him in living in villages just like his. They do what they have to and they praise God that they are alive and have what they have. I saw God’s love not through crazy healing but through these people. They aren’t lost or abandoned. They aren’t misguided and disillusioned. They are perfectly aware of God’s love and walk in that every day.
I sit and think back to all of the people we prayed for and met and it brings tears to my eyes because God loves those people and they love him. They are living proof that Gods love is bigger than our expectations, insecurities, wants, needs, circumstances and trials. Africa changed my life, even more so now, than back then. Not because it was a crazy mission trip (it was) but because it was God’s mission , we were just passengers tagging along, living and learning; he turned the tables and rocked our minds as much as us being there to love them rocked the peoples in the villages’ minds.
Well , now this is really it. It is 9:48, and at this same time tomorrow morning I will be standing in the PHX airport waiting to take off to Detroit, then Amsterdam then finally South Africa(Johnannesburg). To say that I am excited is an understatement. I am positively nervous. For the first time I will be leaving the somewhat safe confines of the US and I couldn’t be more scared of the unknown which is the traffic of the airport and places yet to be seen.
No matter what nerves I may feel, I still believe that everything has been in God’s hands and the same can be said for this trip. i am so excited to see the things that God will reveal during this time. Above all I am happy to know that I have the support of my friends, family and team members. When I think about this trip, sure it is scary to travel so far for the first time but I can be sure of the fact that I am going with my family, a family taht God has brought together , a group of people so filled with passion for God and for this trip that there is no way it won’t be great.
thank you to everyone who has supported me financially and even in prayer. Your encouragement during this time means so much to me. Updates about every part of the trip is soon to come. Please pray for our safe travels and our team.
Over the past few months my team and I have been furiously raising funds and support for our trip to South Africa and it has truly been a journey. Throughtout all of the meeting, we have become mor than just teammates but a true family. All of us , me included have experienced so many things that God has been doing in us, for us and through us. All the time that we have been raising support and having fundraisers, God has been paving the way for us, even amidst all of those hard times when life was bearing down on us and we felt like we were at a dead end. God always made a way in the most unexpected of ways. It is crunch time and we are continuing to trust in God and reach out to people and make arrangements. Through all of the stress of the things, we can see Gods hand in all things. God has given us his heart for this trip, for his children, for South Africa. We are going , but this isnt our trip, this is Gods trip, Gods journey. We now have two weeks before we fly to SA, and we still need a bit of team money. Anything that can be given is a big help, whether it is 2 dollars or 200 dollars. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, encouraged me and prayed for me as I prepare myself for all that God has in store me and my team as we go.
Working on raising moneey to go to South Africa has definitely been a challenge. But now we finally have dates on when our trip will be. May 10-27 is our official dates. As far as deadlines go, I am $100 short of my $500 deadline.
March 26- $1700
April 11th- $900 (final deadline)
SOO Excited. Why, you ask? Well, kind sir that is because on Friday, February 10th, we are having a fundraiser at Applebee’s on Rural and Broadway . You know what they say, be there or be hungry at home with scrap leftovers. So come out, eat, enjoy, have family time and help us out. All you have to do is show up, tell your waiter you are there for the fundraiser and10% of your bill will go to our funds for the trip. Easy as cake, right!?! yeah, I know. ;) Can’t wait to see you , eat with you, and have a good time.
How many people can say that they are going to Africa? Quite a few, but how many of those people can give you a reason that doesn’t involve the lion king? Not a whole lot. For me it is a little bit of both. I guess you can say that my obsession with started at a young age thanks to Walt Disney and Sarah McLaughlin. Who can turn down a chance to see real life Simba and the animals from Madagascar? Not this girl. but thsi trip isn’t about sight seeing and Safari’s. It is about something much more important than that. This trip is about the children, the family, the people. there are so many people in need in this world, and specifically in Africa. Not only do I get a chance to learn about these needs, I get to fulfill them personally. So this summer I am going to South Africa because my heart as well as my head has a great desire to help in need, to love on those children who have none, and to do God’s work. Matthew 28:19-20 says “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations , baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, and to the end of the ages.” With this I invite you to join me on this amazing adventure.