This week has been an absolutely incredible and life changing experience for me. I don’t know how else to describe it. We worked hard and played hard, but more importantly I encountered God this week. I am speechless when I think back to the time just over a year ago that the seed to go to South Africa was planted – in the most unusual and unexpected way. And now, here I am at the end of a dream I once had to walk on the continent of Africa, to be with the African people, to learn about them and be the hands and feet of Jesus. The seed of thought, hopefulness, and even speculation has blossomed into the trip of a lifetime, fruitful with a changed life, new perspectives, strong friendships, and connections made that will be used for the glory of God.
From the time I arrived at the airport in Jacksonville just over 1 week ago, to the minute I step off the final flight, I know God’s hand has been upon this journey every single step of the way. Even the little luggage hiccup seems like a distant memory because God had a plan and purpose for that as well. He used that to teach me a lesson! I want so badly to tell you all of the details of the trip, but I know that the excitement soon wears off and trying to understand something you didn’t experience is a deep challenge that can’t be overcome in a matter of minutes. Pictures speak a thousand words and I pray that laying your eyes upon the sights I bring back from South Africa will ignite the flame of curiosity in you to know more. My life was touched in a different way this week. It wasn’t just about playing with kids, serving meals, or learning about the culture this week. It was about living more simply, loving more deeply, and making time for things that truly matter in life. A new perspective births new beginnings and my life has changed for the better because of the lives that have impacted me this week. I pray that one day I look back on this and remember the sights and sounds. I want lives to be changed because mine was changed. I want to be a mover and a shaker for the Kingdom. I know that God is well pleased with the faithfulness, obedience, and humility displayed this week through our team. Like wounded healers, God took messy, broken people and used them to bring healing, hope, and help to some of God’s most precious people, “the least of these.”
So, as I turn the page on another great adventure, I’m looking forward to writing the next chapter in my God story and all of the beautiful, new beginnings just ahead. Thank you, God for using me!