I was nervous that I wouldn’t love Africa. I wasn’t nervous that I wouldn’t have a good time–I wasn’t nervous that the travel would be bad.
But, I was worried Africa wouldn’t change me. I was worried that I wouldn’t love the people. I think I was worried maybe God wouldn’t meet me here.
All day yesterday, I was feeling kind of emotionally numb. I was seeing the sights. I was hearing the burden. But I wasn’t bearing the burden. I wasn’t in love with this entire continent, and how could I be?
We’re only here on the ground for 4.5 days. There isn’t a lot of time to fall hard. I was worried it wouldn’t happen, that I wouldn’t really love this place and that I wouldn’t really be changed.
But. Today. I felt the glimmers. I felt the butterflies that you get in your belly when you’re going down a big hill or when you are starting the first day of school. I feel the hope you have in a new relationship and the naivety of a child. I want to know about everything, and ask every question. I want to believe there is a solution for every problem.
Today, we met the women who make the scarves here in Addis at fashionABLE. Each style of scarf is named after a woman who works at fashionABLE, a former prostitute who has gone through the rehabilitation program and is now using defensible skills making scarves. We were able to hear them tell of their past, a life they often sought out of desperation. We were able to meet their children and see that they are thriving.
We made whirly-gigs and learned to weave, and that tossed me right upside down.
I saw how the same we all are, and how we all really want to be known and seen.
There is a name for God in the Old Testament. He is referred to as El Roi, which means “The God Who Sees”. Hagar, Ishmael’s mother, calls Him this as she flees from Sarah, the wife of Abraham. She knows that God sees her plight, and that’s a comfort to her.
It’s a comfort to me, too. It’s a comfort to me that in my still and small moments when I feel all alone and totally misunderstood, God sees. It makes me able to sleep tonight even though there are children sleeping in a shack alone while their mother works the street; God sees them, too.
I’m hoping I leave here changed. I’d love to love Africa. I’d love to have a full heart and an emptier cup, having emptied it out while I was here. It’s easy to get a full heart, because the people here are utterly overflowing with joy.
Really thankful for a God who sees and does exactly what we need.
We’re having a Twitter party tomorrow during the early afternoon (for you!), and the evening for us. I’d LOVE if you’d join me there with the hashtag #blogABLE!
Tuesday, August 13: 2pm EST // 1pm CST // 11am PST >> twubs.com/blogABLE