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Sweet Home Alabama

by | Jul 9, 2012 | Africa, Mission Trips | 0 comments

Well folks, I survived Africa and made it home safely. We picked up our dog from my parents’ house and unpacked all the suitcases this morning and got everything back to normal. Well… almost everything is back to normal. After this trip, Blake and I will never go back to the normal we knew before.

It was an amazing experience. It was exhausting, and at times it was scary, but it was so rewarding. It’s hard to put into words why it was so powerful. I saw a huge change in myself while we were there. I stepped out of my comfort zone, threw aside my insecurities, and was willing to be used by God in any capacity. He worked in my heart to be more outgoing, more compassionate, and more loving.

I saw God in a special way in Africa. Mostly, He revealed Himself to me through my team members. 28 people from around the country. Some knew each other beforehand but most didn’t. I’ve never known such generous, loving people. We all immediately accepted one another and bonded together. We all had little in common except for a love of Jesus. Watching them just jump right in and feed babies or play soccer or hold an orphan’s hand was like seeing all of them truly being Christ’s hands and feet. It moved me in a special way. They inspired me to be better than myself, to seek God more fervently, to be more gracious and more forgiving. And they made me laugh like crazy :-).

So now I’m back home. It was great seeing my parents and my puppy again. It was definitely awesome to sleep in a soft bed and take a hot shower. But I lack that sense of purpose and drive I’ve felt the past couple weeks. I think it’s partly because I’m not on a tight schedule packed full of activities… but it’s also because I feel so much less useful here. I keep adding 8 hours to the time and thinking about what we might have been doing in Africa at that time. I know I’ve only been home a day, and you’d think it would be awhile before I started missing Africa. But no… while we were driving home from my parent’s house, you know what I did? I went to the Visiting Orphans website and started looking at the upcoming trips. Am I nuts?

I want to thank you all so much for your prayers while we were gone. We are so thankful to have made the whole trip without getting sick, getting injured, having side effects from medications, losing our luggage, or having any travel mishaps. God was with us every step of the way. Thank you for caring about us and about the message we were there to spread. I pray that reading this blog has given you a better idea of the needs in Africa as well as what you can do about it. We were certainly blessed to have the opportunity and the support that enabled us to go on this trip. I know that not everyone is able to go on a mission trip like this. I want to encourage you to pray about whether or not God is calling you to go, or to give to missions. The need is great, but God is greater.

Thank you for reading my blog as we made our great journey.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. | James 1:27