next week i was supposed to be leaving for kenya, taking a team from the refuge who caught the africa bug after our family trip a year ago. it is a very sad and hard thing to let go of but it was a clear & yeah-pretty-much-no-choice-in-the-matter decision because of how healing has been going with my back post-surgery. my doctor told me at my post-op visit “oh, you’ll be fine to go in january” but things haven’t been going quite the way we had hoped & i have a second MRI scheduled this saturday to see what’s going on in this wacked-out-back-of-mine.
this is one of those really-annoying-and-there’s-no-option-really-but-to-let-go-and-trust-God moments in my journey. for 9 months now i have been cultivating this fun group of 8 from the refuge & 3 others who are friends of the refuge here in denver and have a heart for africa. we have been meeting monthly since last spring–laughing, praying, learning, dreaming, and preparing. i knew me not going was a possibility after things went downhill this fall, but the reality of it has really sunk in now that it’s clear i won’t be leaving next tuesday. there is one really bright spot for me, though. my 14-year old son who was coming with me decided to still go. we fly stand-by & fortunately one of my friends going on the trip is a united pilot, too, and one of our dearest family friends so he can travel with him. jamison is beyond amazing with the kids at the orphanage & i am really excited for him to get a chance to go back and see everyone & not have to miss out on account of me.
this not a “mission” trip but rather a friendship & relationship building one, where hopefully some others can see & taste & fall-in-love, too. the community center/orphanage/school where the team will be staying has no power, no water, and no solid ongoing support or infrastructure. they are very refuge-like in many ways & over the past several years we have built a really lovely friendship. our group is bringing some love & diverse gifts with them & will be doing some fun stuff with the kids, providing some relief for the teachers, contracting the building of bunk beds, creating a new children’s library that can be protected from the elements (below is a picture of their current one), teaching at the bible college, training some staff on CPR and basic first aid & making new friends. my friend from Hope2Others is working on some water stuff, too. it’s going to be a wild & beautiful adventure, that’s for sure, and i would so appreciate your prayers for their journey. i am sad to not be with them physically but i will be with them every day of the journey in spirit and in love.
i’ll share some fun stories & pictures when they return. for now, just feel sorry for me, ha ha.
here’s their library now. i am really excited to see the new one, stocked with books for the kids. that makes me happy and is the one gift i really wanted to bring.
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ps: some other posts i wrote about our africa adventure last year are: africa love, africa, in all its beauty & all its chaos, the church of the 99 or the 1, asante, africa & a little bit about this year’s trip is on the refuge blog–friendship vs. mission.
ppss: this wednesday is the january synchroblog if you want to participate. the topic, in the spirit of epiphany–the manifestation of God.
ppsss: i wrote a short post for the refuge blog today called the year of living dangerously.