so, i had almost half of a post written about my trip to africa, but for some reason it just sat and sat without ever coming to conclusion. i read and reread what i had so thoughtfully and carefully written out and i just couldn't get over thinking that it didn't even sound like me. funny how just a few weeks can change you.
i feel like i've had a bit more time to process my trip now and maybe that's why i felt the need to start this whole post over. but hey, it's whatever.
there's so much to say about my trip to africa.
you know, like it's completely and entirely different from America. the sights, the sounds, all the fruit-bearing trees, the slow way of life, the women walking for miles and miles with babies strapped to their backs and somehow still managing to gracefully balance towers of supplies on their heads, the dirt being swept outside a hut just for us to make a visit, the way that the children cared for each other, babies, just babies caring for babies.
and some of the biggest smiles you ever laid eyes on.
these people. they are people that i will never forget. some of the most humble, content and joyful people on the planet. oh, and to worship with these people! there's nothing like it. heaven will be a glorious sight with these dear brothers and sisters!
but there were hard things too. like, i don't know if i've ever worked so hard and still felt so small. and how overwhelmed i felt at the harvest. and how much the people wanted us there and want us to come back. and how much i wanted to help, but all along they were the ones helping me.
i can't help but think that maybe i needed this trip just as must as they did.
i know it's cliche and that lots of people say experiences like this will "change you forever", but it really is true.
africa, has forever changed me.
as we were riding on the bus one day it just hit me. the red dirt! uganda has red dirt *almost* just the same as oklahoma! it looks just the same! but, make no mistake, it's volcanic! -thanks for that little nugget, doug-the geologist on our team :) but it's just the same you know, stains real down deep, leaves marks in your soul. it may never be washed out and reminds you of home, though so very different and so very far away.
it did my soul good to follow this path of obedience that was scary for me and, as hard as it was, it did my soul good to leave my family and all that was comfortable.
God worked through us during those 10 days, and it was definitely all about His glory and others coming to know Him, but He has a mysterious way of flipping the script, as some of you may know. we worked long and hard days and as we poured ourselves out, He was simultaneously pouring into us. our hearts were broken. our eyes were opened. and our souls were changed.
i learned some things about myself as well and how much i need to be in constant prayer and communion with Him and not just one lousy, checked off, often missed or squeezed in time in His Word. and you know, that moves mountains!
so yeah, "forever changed" will have to do because that's just what happened.