I can’t believe it was four years ago. It seriously seems like just yesterday. I can’t watch a commercial, see a picture, or even hear something about Africa without my heart aching. It’s hard to explain to people truly what Africa meant to me, so I usually just don’t.
Last night I attended the Mocha Club Birthday Bash Concert…it was incredible and the Mocha Club is doing some pretty great things. I am so glad I went and that I got to hear some of my favorite artists, but I also regret it a little. I regret it because I had tears in my eyes and my heart was heavy the whole time. Images of Zambia flashed through my mind. I can’t help but feel a little bit of a tug that I’m supposed to be there. Sometimes I intentionally avoid things that make me think of Africa because I don’t always love having to deal with these emotions. It’s easier to just block it all out.
Honestly, I don’t know how to deal with these emotions or how to reconcile the tension and conflict it brings into my heart and my head. I love what I do and I believe I’m right where God would have me right now, but I can’t deny that a little part of my heart will always belong in Zambia. Because as hard as I try sometimes I will always remember…
I will always remember holding a sweet baby with AIDS who wasn’t expected to live past her 2nd birthday.
I will always remember experiencing the hospitality of the beautiful people there and how they made room for us.
I will always remember the joy, hope and peace on people’s faces when they talked about how regardless of their material possessions they knew where their hope came from.
I will always remember the despair of the sick and diseased children and mother’s swarming us because they thought we could help.
I will always remember thinking; this is who I’m not supposed to forget.
I will always remember being so thankful that the people I met choose to love me.
I will always remember the beauty and wonder of seeing Victoria Falls for the first time and thinking if God cares enough to make something this beautiful, how much more does he care about all the brokenness we’ve experienced.
I will always remember stretching out to hold the hand of a woman with TB who we were praying for because we couldn’t stand the idea that she hadn’t experienced physical touch.
I will always remember the joy of watching a little girl look at herself on the side of our car because it was the first time she had seen her reflection.
I will always remember coming to the realization that I wasn’t there to save anyone or be anyone’s savior but to learn the fact that they had it right in so many ways. They love each other so well, they knew what it meant to be Jesus to someone, they knew, that God’s Kingdom is here and now and that there’s work to be done. They didn’t blame God for the brokenness, but gave thanks to Him for allowing them to live each day.
I don’t say this to bring up feelings of guilt or thoughts of “those poor people”, but I just don’t want to forget. I can’t forget. It’s all part of my story. Sometimes it’s part of my story that I don’t let myself think about. Sometime it’s part of my story I celebrate. Sometimes it’s part of my story I just acknowledge. But it’s part of my story that wrecked my life and I haven’t been the same since.