Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trip Highlights: Kellee & Michael

Thoughts from Kellee, CPA at Gegner Company PC, and Janel’s college roomate at Iowa State University:

Deuteronomy 31:20
“and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…”

Why me? Why did I decide to go to Africa? I got this question quite often from friends and family once the word was out that I was going on the trip. And all I could do was shake my head and say, “I don’t know.” I don’t know what I’m going to be doing there. But I do know that God is asking me to do this, and I just can’t say no. I can’t say no even when there’s a possibility the trip may be postponed until 2 weeks before my wedding. So I go. The girl that is terrified of flying (about 4 hours is my limit on a plane) has not one ounce of trepidation boarding a 10 ½ hour, non-stop flight to Africa. No fear, what so ever. I chalk that one up to God and it cements my belief that this trip, for reasons unknown, is what I’m supposed to be doing.

I think back to my days in Asikuma every.single.day. I’ve struggled now that I’m back home with feeling that I should be doing something great, something more. But what? I still don’t know the answer (though I have some ideas). It would be great if God would put that answer on a big, flashing, neon billboard! But I know that’s not the way He works. For now, what I do know is that He did something great inside of me. He opened my eyes, my heart and my mind to the suffering in the world. He taught me patience, compassion, unconditional love, faith, joy, humbleness, grace and forgiveness in ways that I would have never learned by staying inside my 15 mile Urbandale, IA radius. My mind flashes to the beautiful smiles, the gorgeous faces, the big brown eyes of the children I spent every day with. And my heart dances and a smile spreads across my face every single time. I carry that with me and I have faith that something great, something more is in store. For them, through us, armed with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Here are some of my FAVORITE moments :)

Playing with the children! Bubbles, jump ropes, and soccer balls oh my!

The group of girls so eagerly learning how to sew.

Isaiah 58:10 “…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like noonday.”

Pure joy

Bible study

A simple game of duck duck goose


Vanilla ice cream with my college roomie!!

Sweet Nina - her mom was our cook for the week.

Precious. Need I say more? And yes, that's her name :)

A walk to the farm with Dee and the boys.

Thoughts from Michael, owner of Family Chiropractic, construction team member in Asikuma:

Reflecting on the trip obviously a lot of things come to mind: the range of emotions all within a short time span, the eye opening depravity, the lush green habitat, the stench, the garbage, etc. On my flight home, alone, I could only think of one thing the entire time....

From the outside I could not have looked any different from the people of Asikuma but at the heart we were no different. We all are in desperate need for Christ to save us, from ourselves. Sin is sin and while it may look different, in the end my sin and their sin has the same end without Christ - eternal separation from Him and eternal torment. I may be rich in the world's eyes, I have a lot of stuff and enjoy many luxuries. The people of Asikuma are living on probably a dollar a day, sleeping on dirt floors in dirt huts, in sweltering heat and humidity, surrounded by rodents and insects. Simply put, I have more money. It is easy for me, as an American to put my trust in my bank account and my stuff - making me a lover of money and sinful because I am trusting green paper to provide rather than Christ. The people of Asikuma are not rich. They do not have much of anything other than what's on their backs. They do not have money but yet the lack of it can find its way into sinful behavior as well. They love money just like I do, they dont have it but yet want and maybe covet it - they love money just like me. My sin of trusting stuff and their sin of coveting stuff in the end is sin.

They are in need of Christ, and I am in need of Christ. To me, this was a beautiful picture of the Gospel. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Rom 3:23-24


kendra said...

I can completely and totally relate to Kellee, she put it best for sure. Especially with the start of classes. Ugh. I sit through them with African ants in my pants...

Charry said...

I see in the pictures how orderly the donations were handled. what a great way to give out the shoes, dresses...