Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Home in America, but Heart Still in Africa

Here is a post from one of our last missions teams. Thank you Jenny Jenkins and your Imani mission interns and team for all you have done for the people of Kenya.  This post from Hannah describes perfectly what its like to come home with such a desire to do more for Christ and the least of these. 

Home in America, but Heart Still in Africa

Well, our team has been home for four days now but my body definitely still thinks it's in Kenya. We made it back home safely with only a minor bump in the road! Our luggage was left in Washington when we made it back to Houston, so they sent it to all of our homes the next morning. I had some intense jet lag the first night; went to sleep at 8:45 PM and woke up bright and early at 4:30 AM! 

It has been hard at times to adjust back to American culture. I'm still use to every person I walk past saying "Jambo!" and five children running up to me at once to be held. The friendliness of the people in Kenya is something I will always miss, and the hospitality they greet you with upon arriving at their homes is something I hope to establish in my own apartment at school. Even though Elyse warned us about the emotional effect of coming home, it still hit me pretty hard. I went through every phase she told us about and even suggested we avoid. (Sorry, Mama Dhahabu). I went through my "send-me-back-to-Africa" depression and cried on the way to Zumba one morning. I've gotten frustrated with the excessiveness of everything we have in America and how much people take for granted here. 

I think the hardest part for me is feeling like I can't do anything to help those children now that I'm back home. But that isn't the case at all. I can share my stories with those here and encourage them to go on mission trips. Above all things, I can pray for those amazing people. I can pray for those who accepted Christ and that they will continue to pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ. I can pray that every child I met will always have a meal to eat and will be able to attend school each month. I can only pray, but prayer is my biggest resource. Prayer changes EVERY circumstance. Prayer is what brought me to Africa. I might be thousands of miles from those sweet children, but My God isn't. My God is there now, cradling every child in His loving arms and that is the greatest comfort! How amazing to think about; that God is the same God here in America and there in Africa. He remains the same on every continent! 

My time in Africa was a complete blessing through and through. Each face I saw is still etched into my memory. I can't help but smile as the names of each precious child runs across my mind and connects with a smiling face or an adorable giggle. I will always remember little Sylivia in babies class, who ALWAYS had a huge smile splashed across her face. She LOVED to be held and would get pretty feisty if she didn't get her way! Of course, everyone knows who I will never forget...and that is my little love, Esther from Masai Corner! She was the sweetest little girl! I loved talking with her mom and holding her for practically the entire day. She wouldn't smile in pictures, but if you tickled her she would light up! I could tell a million stories about each child, but that would take way too long. I didn't think I could love so many children the way I love those children in Kenya. They completely changed and I thank God daily for sending me to Kenya. 

I have been so humbled by the people in Africa, and I pray God will continue to bless each and every one of them. I am so thankful for my amazing team that the Lord blessed me with! They are such an amazing group of ladies that absolutely love the Lord and love to serve Him. I am so thankful for Jenny and the amazing organization that is Imani! Imani is an awesome organization, and I am so glad I was able to go to Africa through them! Jenny, thank you for your hard work and dedication to Imani and the people of Africa. You are an incredible example of a woman of God serving the Lord 100%! 

Lastly, thank you to my wonderful sponsors and amazing friends and family! Without your donations, support, and prayers, I wouldn't have been able to go to Africa. You are all such amazing people, and I am so thankful that you served the Lord in the way you did! I hope one day, Lord willing, that I can go back to Africa and serve God there! 

-Maua (Swahili for flower)

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