Tuesday, May 22, 2012
While looking for something else today, I found the scrapbook of that trip. Oh, my! It was a few hours later before I emerged "Out of Africa!"
This trip opened my heart to the people of Africa. These gals know how to SING, in Swahili! And pray! And celebrate! And serve!
Many walked for hours to attend those meetings, sleeping on the concrete floors of that church with their babies at night. They sat on hard wooden benches for hours, thrilled to be there!
They graciously and lovingly served me and two other women from our church in Dallas, and a young married couple from Austin for a week. That was the team. None of us knew what we were doing, traipsing all over that dark continent. We ate unidentifiable food, trusted a guard for our safety and travelled in an old van that we had to push to get it to start every time we wanted to travel over the deeply rutted dirt roads. That's the nature of mission trips!
We waited on single engine airplanes on dusty benches and took pictures of zebras, lions, water buffalo and giraffe from a jeep. We shooed gigantic geckos out of our rooms before crawling under mosquito netting at night. We prayed that all those shots we took before we left the US were doing their best work of protection in our bodies.
We left much wiser than we were when we arrived. That little team was truly blessed beyond our wildest imaginations.
Africa is no doubt a third world country with rampant poverty and destitution. Corrupt governments have kept their citizens enslaved. Superstition, ignorance, AIDS, tribalism and war have wrecked havoc. Women have suffered greatly, as they try to raise their children and eek out a living in order to feed them.
But when God's Word is opened to these people, as it was that week, they embrace it, are eager to understand it and obey it. They throw themselves on the mercy of God and pray for His provision and deliverance.
Perhaps twelve years and much prayer has changed things. I would go back in a "Mississippi minute."
I wonder how my African friends are doing, what has transpired in that place, and what progress has been made.
I wonder what truth they could teach me now.