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A Change of Pace

This was written while still in the beautiful country of Swaziland.

Internal, indescribable, intentional.

These three words only begin to summarize how our African children’s care point ministry has gone.

Internal:
Learning the internal state of a child who has never experienced the love of Jesus before is hard. So many people think it’s so easy to go to another country and just love. It isn’t though. Since love-impoverished children have never experienced such an emotion before, they have no clue how to take the love, how to internalize it. That’s difficult to work through, but it’s such a perfect illustration of Jesus’ love for us. We don’t always know how to internalize the incredible love Jesus has for us. We just aren’t always ready to fully accept it. As I’ve been learning on this trip though, “Loved people love people.” These precious kiddos can’t love others well until they know that they’re loved by our precious Savior. It’s such a blessing to have God use me to show His love to others so they can love too.

Indescribable:
There really aren’t words to explain how it feels to hold little African babies in your lap and have them look you in the eyes and smile their most genuine smiles. These kids have some of the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen, and I think the time-old phrase is true…”Eyes are the windows to the soul.” In some of these kids though, I can see so much pain. It really breaks my heart and just makes me want to love them so much more. Fighting through the knowledge of their pain is worth it. Going around the monkey bar circle 500 times is worth it. Getting snot wiped all over you basically every day is worth it. Hugging a kid that just angrily punched another kid is worth it. It’s all worth it. There aren’t words. It’s just worth it. All of it.

Intentional:
I’ve been learning a lot more on this trip about, well, a lot of things, but one of those things is how to be truly mindful and present. This may not be where God wants me to live for the rest of my life, but He called me here now. In this moment. In this season of life. He wants me to be intentional at all times, in all I do. These kids deserve that. They need someone to be all there with them. So often in their lives, people just pass them by. They long for someone to be fully present, loving them with all he or she has. Intentionally loving is hard, but it’s the most beautiful kind of love. There’s a sincerity in it that can’t be questioned, and, in a country where sincerity is often lacking, that’s a God-given gift.

I’m so beyond grateful for all the support I’ve received, financial, prayer, or otherwise. I don’t have words to thank you all. God is doing amazing things in His precious country of Swaziland. He is showing me more about myself, Him, and His beautiful world every single day. I don’t think it’s possible to go to a country like Swaziland and not be radically changed, but I’m still blown away by and more thankful for God’s willingness to show me more of His love each day. Smiling, laughing, dancing, singing, and loving with God’s beautiful Swazi people are blessings beyond what words could ever say. I don’t know that I’m meant to be here later in life. This is possibly just a season, but it sure is a sweet one. Only God knows the future, but in this moment, in this place, I don’t want to know. He knows, and that is good enough for me.

“When we work for Christ out of obligation, it’s feels like work, but when we work for Him out of love, it’s a manifestation of His love, and it feels like love.”

 

 

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