I can’t believe it’s been one year since I’ve went to Africa. It seems like yesterday Cherie and I landed at the Nairobi Airport got off the plane and stood in line at the customs “desk” to enter the country. I remember it hitting me very quickly that it’s possible to sweat just standing in a line. This was only a hint at the amount of perspiration that was to come though…believe me.
Well this I’m so excited and blessed that I get to return to Africa and the wonderful men, women, and children of Joska this year! In fact the Thanksgiving meal I’m about to destroy in a few hours will barely be digested by the time I load the plane it’s that soon. It will be tougher to leave home since BG and Cherie will be staying behind, but I know that God will protect and keep them healthy while I’m gone.
It seems fitting that as the last bit of Western American thanks is wiped off my mouth I will soon touch down in a country that seems to have little to be thankful for. For some it’s hard to imagine these oppressed people finding gratitude in the rubble and chaos of the world around them. However, you only need to talk to them for a nanosecond to realize they are thankful for things we don’t even put on our back-up thankful list.
Their short list consists of:
- Food of any kind
- Shelter of any form
- Clean water
- Life for another day
- A day without rape
- A child born without AIDS
However, they praise God for these things with such sincerity in their souls that it makes you realize there are genuinely thankful for every little bit they have. I love the distilled joy these people demonstrate. A joy rid of any of the sediments of our materialistic world and filtered down to the essence of love and contentment. They are able to get to the heart of thanksgiving and the heart of God faster than we ever will.
So yes I am leaving on a plane and leaving my family behind for 10 days, but when I return I will be filled with more clarity and love for life and God then I could ever have imagined.
Don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful for all that God has blessed me with in my life.
I am grateful for the church that supports me on these missions’ trips. I’m grateful for the family that loves me enough to let me leave even if it hurts. I’m thankful for the friends and family that will be praying for me as I travel. I’m thankful for the people I will meet and the love I will be shown when I arrive.
However I am most thankful for the love of Christ that propels me to go on these trips will also be the Love that is reflected back to me in the lives of these children.
To close, I think it’s only fitting to be reminded of the greatest moments of thanks in all of the World.
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. – Luke 22:19-20
May we be constantly brought back to the sacrifice of Jesus and the underserved Grace we receive through Him. Thank you Jesus for all you have done for us. May this be the Grace that is taught and shown to these children that we are able to minister to.
Well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone and be praying for me. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!