Sunday, June 26, 2011
One year ago today...
June 26, 2010. A date that changed my life forever. One year ago today, my niece Brooke and I arrived at the Atlanta airport to begin an amazing adventure in obedience to God. We were about to spend two weeks in Ethiopia and Uganda, loving children that most of the world has forgotten. It was difficult in so many ways, but rewarding in so many more. When you let go of the things you have been clinging to, it's amazing what God can do.
We met some incredible people in the process...pictured above. Three of them we met in Atlanta and became friends with them several hours before we met any of the others. As we all gathered at the gate in Dulles airport, it seemed like we had known each other forever. Many of these former strangers are now friends whom I love very much.
So here I am a year later. How much difference did that trip really make? Let's see. Most of us are now sponsoring children in a program that barely existed a year ago. One of us is leaving today, returning for a long term commitment through Project World Mission. Another, who just graduated from high school, is traveling with her to be there (I think) until her freshman year starts. Another is about to adopt her third child from there. And many more have traveled back for additional short terms.
Which brings me to this: Next weekend, I am returning for a week. I will get to meet my sponsored children. I will get to work for several days at a place I left my heart. I will get to see 5 members of last year's team, as well as friends who live there. And I will be part of a brand new team from whom I will probably make even more lifelong friends. I absolutely cannot wait! (But, as I like to say, I'll have to, right?)
I ask for your prayers for my friend who leaves today. And pray that as I go about my business this week my heart will be prepared to be open to what God wants me to do there.
What an awesome God - he can accomplish his purposes however he chooses, and yet he has allowed me to be a part of it. I'm overcome with praise and thankfulness. And counting the days.