Out of Africa


I’ve spent the last two weeks in Africa. I had breakfast with the hippos (really!). I saw the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo). I spent mornings by the fire while my friends in Texas spent the morning trying to stay cool! I landed on dirt airstrips, traveled down dirt roads in the Mara and drank sugar cane juice with lime and ginger.

I walked through raw sewage, stumbled through trash piles and breathed the dirty air drifting from the industrial district. I saw orphans in Langata, girls rescued from genital mutilation in Olorropil, and farms worked by boys rescued from poverty in Nakuru.

I taught married couples, local pastors, and congregations. I danced before the Lord in worship along with the Kikuyu tribe. I spoke to a Bible school in Masai territory. I washed cups in a feeding station in a slum of Nairobi.

And to think: before I was born again, I used to think that serving the Lord would be boring. What would I do if I left the bright lights of the entertainment district behind? What would life be like without the influence of alcohol and drugs? What would I live for if I no longer indulged myself? Why would I work if not to provide for my comforts and wants?

The musings of a fool. Little did I know of the life that lay beyond the veil of my selfishness and fear.

I sat on a bench in Langata last week with a girl orphaned by AIDS. She herself was infected with the virus and struggling to have enough energy to stay in school. She told me about her plans to attend tailoring school and prepare for her future outside the orphanage. There was a lull in the conversation for a bit. There we sat – both products of this world but products of two different worlds. We both sat and looked at the sun going down and I thought:

What is she thinking about? What goes through her mind coming from her point of origin and headed to her supposed destination?

Next thing I know, this 14 year old moves closer to me in the cool of a Kenyan winter and we smile at one another. I begin to think of all the places I could be at that moment in time. I think of all the places I would have been if I would have continued on the pathway I was on earlier in life. And then I think:

There is no place else I would rather be right now.

Thank you, Jesus. Because if it were not for You, I would not have experienced the things that I have been so blessed to be a part of in this world. Before You – my pathway was too narrow to lead me to such a large place.

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