Sole Hope

How was Africa?

How was Africa?

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It has been the question of the week. I have searched all the adjectives in my arsenal and there is not one word that can sum up Africa. My mind has felt like a globe being spun out of control as I try to capture the “how was Africa?” answer.

The best I have is that it felt like I was constantly in a state of between-ness. I know that is not a word but that is how I roll.

  •  I felt between spoiled and irritated, as I watched hours upon hours of movies on the 44 total hours worth of airplane travel.
  •  I felt between thankful and sad, as I had more time to myself in 13 days than I think I have had in the last five years.
  •  I felt between hopeful and disgusted, as I watched innocent little children come into our path and bravely have the hordes of jiggers extracted from their feet.

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Between:

  • Attached and detached, as starving-for-love children came into my path but my heart decided it wanted to guard from truly knowing them and leaned more on understanding the problem.
  • Grateful and confused, as people poured their hearts into us only to earn monthly wages that I spend in a day at Chick-fil-a.
  • Driven and non-chalet, as we walked through a slum of a village so that we could jump into a boat and be lazy on The Nile.
  • Purposeful and frustrated, as I organized the Sole Hope store room because I couldn’t handle standing with the worst case scenario kids as they screamed for HOURS in pain.
  • Relief and insanity, as I finally made the trek home only to feel like my mind was breaking and wanted to just be “done!”
  • Relaxed and aggravated, as I just can’t seem to snap back into the consistency I worked very hard to create in the life of my family upon re-entry.

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Teeter totters were fun on the playground but eventually you want off? I am not good at this between-ness. In the between-ness you have separation. When I look back on Africa and the between state my mind lived in it kept me from being fully present. Poop! I don’t really want to say that but maybe that is what needs to come out. Will confession put me back together again? It seemed impossible for my heart to fully connect because it was split between here and there. Here being where the loves of my life rest their head and there being where I was called but my head knew it was only for a brief moment.  It was hard to be present in the brief moment knowing that here is where I have a mission field gifted to me here that I cannot abandon.

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So…“How was Africa?”

It was good. It was good to see such a dynamic and beautiful reminder of God’s love there. Love worked like ripples in the water.You could see it! It reminded me that His love is deep, wide and high.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

AND it was hard. It was hard to be separated from the ways He has uniquely called me to love others here.  May I never forget to love God and love others here and there and in the moments that we are given.

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  • all so true. i feel the inbetween so strongly too and it is so hard to sum up africa when someone asks… good words, friend.