Here is a letter one of our recent Africa team members sent to his friends and family explaining his experience in Africa: Friends and Family
I am finally back stateside after a life changing trip to Africa. I willingly went on the trip to create change in myself, and in my life and boy o' boy, did it ever! I wish I could accurately articulate every fiber in my heart and mind that is different, but I know for a fact I'm not quite there yet.
The trip, as most of you know, was spent between two different countries, Uganda and Ethiopia. The two nations could not have been more different on some fronts, and could not have been closer on others.
The sites and sounds of Uganda were full of rolling grass covered hills, dark clay roads, mud made homes, and children yelling "Muzungu!" Which translates to 'white person,' a term of endearment there (or at least that's what they said). We saw over 700 children in 6 days! We actually lived in a home, that houses over a 115 kids, which was one of the most impactful parts of the trip. Seeing the same children every day, building bonds and relationships was amazing!
Ethiopia was a much more urban environment as we spent most of our time in the capital, Addis Ababa. This part of the trip was different for me, as it meant I was able to see Ashlie, my best friend, and her new baby boy, Easton. I can admit feelings of selfishness in Ethiopia, as most of the time I only wanted to hold my first nephew and comfort my best friend.
At this point, I'm not going to write about the dark past of the children, or the terrible conditions most of them live in, mostly because I don't have the words yet. There is a weight on my heart now that I have never felt before, and as I figure out to position and reuse that weight, I'm want to mention the hope and joy that filled the children's faces. It was mind blowing, that these children despite having every reason in the would to be filled with hate and despair they chose HOPE and JOY!
Think we could learn something from them? I think so.
To those who were able to help make the trip possible, I sifting through thousands of pictures to create a personalized thank for each of you.
I have included just a few pictures from the trip...Again, there is so much more to see, but this will work for now.
Follow along as I take this mission seriously and minister to the orphans in this world.
Visiting Orphans...It pretty much speaks for itself. Our lives are made to give away to others and I love it that helping orphans is pure and undefiled religion! Follow along as I take God seriously about this mission and minister to the orphans in this world. He is constantly at work in our lives..we just sometimes have to shift our perspective to notice Him. I pray you will hopefully see Him in the words and pictures below..through my perspective.
This blogpage follows the mission trips I lead to minister to orphans in this world. I am the Executive Director of a mission sending agency called Visiting Orphans. (www.visitingorphans.org) I believe my mission in life is similar to the President of Compassion International, Dr. Wes Stafford. In his book, "Too Small to Ignore" he says, "On one side of this international bridge, my role is to minister to the poor, to the orphans, to "comfort the afflicted." And then I cross the bridge, coming back to the Western, more affluent world, where my job is to speak and write and to "affict the comfortable" to call them to action." Loving people on both sides of the spectrum...
I pray that something in my words or pictures will inspire you to reach out beyond yourself...to GO and help the "least of these".