“Legacy” Story from Africa #1

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It’s been too long! I say that because my absence from writing, which has become one of my greatest pleasures during this time of illness, was due to a very hard second round of treatment and all the energy I had left at the end of each day was used to prepare and send my two precious girls on a three week mission trip to Africa. I have been asked to share about their trip and my thoughts as their mom while they are away on this blog since so many of my friends don’t yet do the whole Facebook thing. (I am not pointing any fingers since I don’t yet do the whole Twitter thing.) Sharing their journey with the many who have inquired of them and supported them both financially and through prayer is the desire of my heart and an important part of this season of life for me. Therefore, I will devote many of my next entries here to telling their story until they are home with me again.

Those closest to me knew that preparing for my girls departure was really hard for me. Many would ask, “Is it because you are scared for them?” To which I would answer, “Not in the least!” Some would think it was because I was sad that they were going. As will be described below, that was not it either. The reason their leaving was so hard for me was because everything in me wanted to be going to Africa too. My absolute greatest joy in life and the time that I feel most alive in this world is when I am on a mission trip helping those who can’t help themselves and bringing hope to those who have none which is exactly what my girls are doing in Africa as we speak.

There were many times that I just had a big ole pity party for myself on my back patio asking, “Why can’t I go?” Even as I type the words telling about this, I find myself sticking out my bottom lip as if to say, “It’s not fair! It’s just not fair! I just want to go!” Stomp…stomp…stomp! This continued for several days, and it just got worse the closer their departure came. Until one of my closest friends, who is wise beyond her years, sent me these words one morning…

“This verse came to mind as your youngest leaves for Africa today…

”Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” Matthew 28:19

I hope that you realize that as she goes today, you are also going. You are sending one of your disciples just as Jesus commanded, and in 8 days you will be sending another, you’re oldest. Though you cannot go physically, your legacy is going!”

WOW! My big ole pity party ended right then and there! I had never thought of it that way!!! The most amazing part of this story is that another of my dearest friends said those exact same words to me the day before. Guess I’m just a slow learner or was crying “Poor Me!!!” so loud that I couldn’t hear her. Sorry, KG!

So below is just one of my favorite “legacy” stories from Kenya, Africa…

I didn’t cry when she left. That is soooo unusual for me. Ask anyone. I’m a crier! So, why didn’t I cry when my baby left me for three weeks? What is wrong with me? I have asked myself that question many times over the last 10 days since she has been gone, and I now know the reason why I did not cry. How can I be sad when I have watched her work soooo hard to raise money for this trip that she wanted more than anything? How can I be sad when I heard her pray that people would help her financially and then saw her jump up and down when a check would come in the mail? How can I be sad when I see her gifts of photography and technology being used to document this trip for all to see? How can I be sad as she woke up each morning “giddy” about the chance to go back to the place she has been missing for over a year? How can I be sad as I watched her selflessly give up her own things to give to those who have none? How can I be sad as these trips to Africa have grown her confidence, self-esteem and heart? How can I be sad when my many prayers over the years that God would use her to make a difference in this world are being answered? So as I receive photo after photo like the one above, the only tears I cry are tears of joy!!!