Okay, so people keep bugging me about not posting about Africa. Honestly it's such a daunting task to sit down a describe an event like "Africa" in one, clear, understandable, and possibly moving, post! So I have been putting it off.
So much happened in and through us while on the trip, but those of you who have been on a missions trip understand this. So here are a few thoughts on our trip:
Bummers (I'll start with these to get them out of the way)
1. I was bummed I decided to come home early. Leaving was so hard, saying good bye to Tre was a bit traumatic. But once I was there, I honestly did not miss him too much, so watching the team leave for overnight outreach and staying behind cause I was leaving early stunk! (Although once on the plane, I could not WAIT to hold my baby and was glad to be heading home.)
2. The orphanage. I was, as was most of the team, rather disappointed in the orphanage/the Baker's ministry itself. Not to discount the absolutely amazing work that the Baker's are doing in Mozambique, and the phenomenal opportunity they are presenting these children with by having the orphanage. I guess in my mind I had pictured it as a spiritual haven or mecca that kid's are being brought into, ministered to, healed spiritually as well as emotionally and physically, raised up, and commissioned from. Needless to say this was not the case. And I left there feeling such a sadness for these kids. I feel a burden to pray that God instills vision into their lives and places people there to minister to them on a personal level for long periods of time. (This is my PC version)
1. Our team, we had a phenomenal team of adults and kids and they did wonderful. This is always one of our favorite parts, if not THE favorite part of trips for us: watching God build our team, bless them with their finances, work in and through them on the trip, and then see them come home on fire for the things of God.
2. A lot of our kids got to experience God doing GREAT miracles through them! They saw a blind woman with cataracts in both eyes miraculously healed, cataracts disappear! A lame woman walk, and even a deaf boy hear and speak for the first time! There is nothing more awe inspiring than watching God do this, and there is nothing more humbling than feeling Him use you!
3. David and I had a lot of time to reconnect, pray, and seek God for our lives as a couple and individually, thanks to the awesome leadership team we had. We came back feeling closer than ever to each other, spiritually renewed and refreshed, and like we have stepped into the next phase of our lives.
4. We met some great friends, the Locke's. They are the visitor's coordinators at Iris Pemba, where we stayed. They were such a blessing to us and our team and we look forward to seeing how God uses our friendship in the future! (Check out their blog: http://isaiah555.blogspot.com/)
5. The beauty of Africa. I always wondered what it would really be like to be IN Africa. And all I can tell people is that it is EXACTLY how you imagine it. The scenery was picturesque wherever we were, the dirt was as red as the blood shed on it, the people full of big smiles, the spiritual atmosphere so tangible, the heaven's open, the poverty disgustingly real, the trees big, the air hot, and the smell yuck! But some how we felt so connected to Africa. We talked about this a few days ago. It seems like most people feel this way after going to Africa and really engaging it's people and culture. I don't know whether it is a deep spiritual connection because of our ancestry or whether it is something more. Either way, Africa will forever be in our hearts, minds, and prayers.
It changed our lives.