Thursday, June 2, 2011

Prologue...

Ah, sweet readers and friends... here we go... my first blog post (on this blog, anyway) in almost a month.  Before my trip, I attempted to document my days with posts containing Barenaked Ladies songs.  Sadly, Blogger was down a couple of those days, and all you got was one post.  I'm sure you BNL fans mourned.

So, now I'm back... and whirling in my brain are about 6 different blog posts.  Rather than trying to get them all out now, let me tell you what you'll see in the days to come.  (God willing, the creek don't rise, and no-Blogger crashes.)

I ventured to Africa under the premise of helping my friends.  That was the plan.  Then something else happened... God moved in my life.  (I know, we're all shocked by this... right?)  In the days to come I will show you some of the sights that I enjoyed from this angle:



Seeing the world from behind a camera lens is the perfect way to take in all of God's beauty.  I saw colors so deep and people so lovely I could weep just thinking of them.  I met people who spoke truth into my life and those who just made me laugh.  I left the land of Rwanda changed and thankful for it.  I entered the land of Ethiopia anxious and anticipating the "what's next" of life.  And I returned to the land of America ready to take it on.

I encountered a new adventure in Rwanda involving... what else... but pens.  Yep.  PENS.  Yep.  The things that make my heart skip a beat every time I walk down the office supply aisle... handed to me in Africa... in the form of loving people.  And that experience will be shared with you- beginning tomorrow- so tune in.

I fell in love with a family from Tennessee with accents reminiscent of my mountains.  I left them at the airport with tears streaming down my face because God had knit them to my heart in 19 days.  My first thought was "And this is why I said I could never do Foster Care... the letting go sucks."  My second thought was "But this is exactly why we must do Foster Care... because I can't imagine my life without them in it.  And I can't stinkin' wait to see who God will place into our home in a few short months.

I tried new foods.  I learned new phrases.  I worshiped in a new way.  I enjoyed life in a new way.  And I have come home changed.  I am sorry that I'm unable to share it all with you yet.  In fact, I tried to "quickly" tell a friend about my trip today at lunch... two hours later, I looked at my watch, stunned, and realized that life may be a lot like this in the days to come.  So those of you who will have to listen to all my stories, I apologize in advance for the amount I will talk, and yes, it's okay if you shut me up.  And those of you who read this blog, feel free to walk away from your computer at any point to get a cup of coffee... I've got lots to talk about.

For now, I'll leave you with this:  I had the front row seat to God making a family complete.  I watched two children walk straight in to the arms of their forever family.  (Actually, more than 2 if you include the other families, but more about them later...)  I saw those kids go from timid to content.  I heard them say phrases with their beautiful accents- both gentle "Be-kay" and loud "BEN-JA-MIIIN!".  I watched them laugh and cry with their parents and their sister.  I saw both of them swim for the first time.  I saw them ride on a plane for the first time.  Shoot, I saw them use toilet paper for the first time.  (When I first handed some to Marie, she said "Sank you, Be-kay", bent over, and used the toilet paper to wipe off her shoes before putting it in the toilet.)  I saw them have joyful moments and I saw them have painful moments.  I saw their parents high on life and equally as exhausted.  And you know what I saw most?  Peace.  Peace because my friends had done what God had asked them to do... they responded to His call to care for orphans.  In their family, He specifically told them to bring home 2 children from Africa.  I had a front row seat to this joyous event... and a front row seat to seeing people be obedient.

There is more to come, friends... so much more.  But for now I'll tell you the 3 things I've most enjoyed today about being back home:  1. My family.  2. Catching up with friends.  3. The allure of my bed waiting for my jet-lagged self.  And, I'll tell you the 1 thing I most enjoyed about Africa:  1. Africa.  The people, the place, the beauty.  Gonna take some time to do the things we never have....


1 comment:

sherri said...

what an amazing time you must have had. so happy for your friends and their new children. the africa video/reference is killin me. pictures from the trip, please!