As the mosquito bites, jet lag, sunburn, and headaches start to fade, I am left with a variety of feelings, mementos, and memories of the trip. Recently, I have felt especially moved by music. Before, after, and during the trip, I had lots of songs playing in my head. “Bless The Lord, Oh my Soul, Ohh, my Soul. Worship His Holy Name.”
“Break my heart for what breaks yours.”
“It is well, it is well, with my soul.” “Sing with me, How great is Our God.”
I felt close to God in Kenya, and excited to see Him shine through our work. I sensed it in the land, the sun, and in the hearts of people there. At times I felt like I was in an “outdoor classroom”…where the Lord was the instructor and we were the students.
In Kenya, fine means good. If you ask someone how they are doing & they say “fine”, that is with a full heart. I experienced far less complaining, irritability, and negativity than I often do in the United States. I was overwhelmed by the loving and joyful spirits of the people in Kenya. Also, the praise and worship was amazing! We saw dancing in people’s eyes & bodies, and heard music much of the time….which I think affected people’s hearts, souls, and spirits in quite a healthy way. Many of the people we met were hungry, poor, in pain, without shoes, & missing relatives, yet still grateful, patient, smiling, joyful, and loving. The prayerfulness and faith demonstrated in a foreign country was awesome. It was an honor to be a part of it.
Hearing “Jambo” [meaning Hello! In Swahili] in sing song voices from cheerful children rings in my ears. The memory of it makes me smile inside. How could these little children have so much love and joy in their hearts, while they had so little in terms of material resources? It boggles my mind. Another thing I noticed is how often I was asked “How are you?”…in such a genuine and caring way. There’s a value and simplicity in this that I really admire.
The book of Isaiah was a theme in our team’s adventure. I’m reminded of Isaiah 12 verses 2-5 (which is about singing, water, strength, and salvation) as I reflect on this trip. I hope and pray that we can help carry on some of the powerful seeds of change that we experienced while we were there.
It’s amazing to go all the way to Africa to demonstrate (and receive) acts of service & love with our neighbors that we are called to do. It’s interesting how you go to a place, thinking you will be the one serving or teaching, and you actually end up learning and receiving more than you expected. One of the things we are considering, as individuals and as a team, is how to carry on this special spirit of fellowship & community that we had while in Kenya, here in the United States, and across the nations. Also, how to keep making the world a smaller place & sharing God’s love and living out our purpose on this Earth.
I received some advice from a mentor who told me, “do what makes your heart sing.” I want to encourage each of you to do the same. “Shout it…go on and scream it from the mountains…go on and tell it to the masses.”
“All blessings and honor and glory and power forever to Our God.”
In Christ’s love,