One Year

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It still seems fresh in my mind.  Waking up ridiculously early to get to the airport.  Sitting on a plane for an hour waiting to take off.  Navigating a long line at United’s customer service counter to get on a flight to JFK after I missed my connection.  Still so fresh.  Exactly one year ago, as I’m typing this, I was on a plane headed for Amsterdam.  I was with 40 people whom I had just met a few hours prior and we would spend the next 12 days together in Africa.  I think I can speak for all of them when I say we would come back changed people.

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Over the course of those 12 days I saw culture and lifestyles that were completely foreign to me.  I experienced sadness and heartbreak.  I saw the effects of poverty first hand.  But these would not define my experience.  I spent those days seeing what can be accomplished by God’s people.  I saw Compassion’s work up close.  I saw what sponsoring a child can do.  Yes, there was still hardship.  Yes, there was still troubles.  But in the midst of these things I experience something far greater.  I experienced joy, laughter, love, and hope.  I experienced God.

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My 12 days in Africa forever changed me.  Some experiences have faded a bit over the year.  Some will never leave.  I continue to think of my 40 fellow traveling buddies often.  I’m thankful for each of them.  I remember our day on safari with almost childlike wonder.  In my mind I still see the smiling faces of beautiful Tanzanian children.  I will be thankful for the rest of my life for the day I got to spend with Mwajuma and Fadhila, my sponsored children.

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I came home with a renewed and deepened commitment to Compassion’s mission to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.  I came home with a changed perspective on American life.

Tanzania will never leave me.  I will forever be grateful that God gave me the opportunity to go.  One year later, I find myself longing for another adventure. Hopefully, one day, God will bring that to pass. My heart yearns for Thailand. There is a little 9 year old girl there and I long to wrap my arms around her just like I did with Mwajuma and Fadhila. My sweet Wannaporn lost her mother to cancer last May and I so much want to hug her and tell her I love her.

7 years ago our family selected Mwajuma from Compassion’s website as the child we would sponsor.  At that time I could not even have imagined how this little African girl with the slouchy socks would change my life.

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I don’t always make the right decisions.  I don’t always act when I should.  However, this is one decision I know I got right.  Sponsoring children through Compassion has given us perspective, given us joy, and given us a chance to be obedient to God.

Click her to sponsor a child through Compassion today

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