Friday, July 22, 2011

the parts where africa was different than i thought

my heart was split open to africa a few years ago.
i don't remember the exact moment/circumstance.

i just know it happened.
everyone around me knew it happened.

i couldn't WAIT to step foot there. i ached for it...dreamed about it...

and, of course, had ideas about it that were shown to be assumptions that didn't hold up.

NOW...i'm expecting some differing opinions here. let me say, this is JUST from my experience, this is my opinion. my conclusions are being drawn from my journey. and our journey took us to the capital cities of 2 of the countries in africa - rwanda and ethiopia. we were NOT in areas that you think of when you think of africa - dirt buildings...just huts. we were in of people...even internet (although BEYOND frustrating as it was!)

but still, i thought that when we went to church in africa, i would FEEL my God so much more. when i was at church here (at home) before we left, i couldn't wait to experience Him there. but now, after being home and in our church the past 2 Sundays, and having the body of Christ come around us and love us...and worshiping Him there...He's the same. He's the SAME! so powerful. so pure. yes, we are in air conditioning here. and we can leave in our cars and drive on roads where others follow the rules and all that. but, it doesn't change that He was the same. i was kind of blown away by that. and so glad to be home.

second, (it's hard to put this one into words. my sister did it better than i will in one of her posts) as we moved along in our adoption the wait went on, and i spent more time thinking and processing, there was a part of me that worried we were doing these 2 boys a disservice. that maybe it wasn't the best thing. the JOY that people that have so much less than us have seems like something i might never know. i've never had to trust God for my food...or water...or else i would die. yes, i'm thankful for our food and water. but, it's plentiful. always there. somehow, that reality seems to give those in "poor" countries a deeper trust and a deeper joy. and, i was taking my boys away from that. bringing them to this country where we have so much it makes me SICK. is that really the best thing, i wondered??

after being there. and seeing where my boys lived. and knowing what the rest of their childhood would look like. yes, this is best. they were not in situations where there was joy. it was dark and hopeless. no hope. yes, God was there. but, this is best....well, better than what they were going to have. best would have been if they could have remained in THEIR families. but, here, they are in a family. a family that LOVES them. they are OURS now. and we will point them to THE Hope. it's not better because of us. it's better because this is HIS plan for them.

my heart still beats for africa. i hope to go back one serve those there. to love those there. not because they need me. but, because i think i need them. this was a unique journey we were on. and i think it made it hard to see africa for what it truly is.

but, i've been there. and God is the same. and His hope is the best.


Judy said...

Very well put. Lots to think about here. How you feel about Africa is how I feel about Haiti. I go to bed thinking about Haiti all the time. I pray for Haiti and ache for Haiti. I think that would sound weird to most people but I know with certainty that God has placed Haiti on my heart and that he's cultivating a love for that country in me for some reason. I don't know just why yet, but He's up to something in me.

Tammy said...

i love your reflections and your processing. a lot to think about. so glad that you found God the same...I have often wondered that myself, so good to know your thoughts.

Katy said...

Iove that. He is the same God everywhere! And the hope and future for the boys now is huge!!!

Leighann said...

i love this post. very touching.