06 Mar Lessons from Africa
“He says, be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
No one can prepare you for the journey of international missions quite like Jesus can. When I decided to contact Love Africa, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I had no idea that Jesus was going to use Kenya to completely turn my world upside down. I was unprepared for making life long friends. I was completely thrown out of my comfort zone into a season of immense faith.
I felt so inadequate going into the trip. How can God use me? How can God take my brokenness to bring light to strangers halfway around the world? But I prayed, and Heaven rained down in Kenya.
Kenya wrecked me. Never in my life have I felt such joy radiating from people who are completely sold out for Jesus. The Kenyans breathe in the Spirit every day and abide by His complete love. These people have absolutely nothing from a worldly standard, but they are so spiritually rich. Reflecting upon the lessons God taught me in Kenya, two of them seem the most relevant for life back in the states.
1) Love Freely and Relentlessly. Being away from my family and friends was pretty challenging for me, but it gave me time to analyze the relationships in my life. The Kenyans are extremely family oriented, and the love between these people overflows. One man we met, John, had the opportunity to be adopted by a missionary family and brought to the States. He insisted on staying with his people, desiring to aid his community and spread God’s love. Not only do these people build intense bonds with each other, they poured out love on our team. Everywhere we went, children would run into our arms and offer us toothy grins. We were treated with unadulterated kindness everywhere we went, when these people have every right to resent our wealth. Their blanket of love overrode skin color.
2) Be Still and Listen to Jesus. I felt God’s presence so strongly in Kenya. He whispered through the trees, and the Spirit moved through our prayers. Jesus allowed our hands and feet to become blessings, and He interceded for our team. I was pondering the way I felt God’s presence in Africa, and wondering why I had never experienced Jesus in the same way in America when I realized: I had been so bogged down by distractions that I had never allowed Jesus to whisper to my soul. In America it is so easy to become overloaded, but in Africa the people depend solely on God’s goodness. He is abundant because His people are receptive. I want to live with relentless faith, and find stillness in the States. I want to live as faith driven as the African people. I want to emulate their fire for Jesus. I thought I was going to Kenya to change other people’s lives, but they have forever changed mine.
My journey didn’t end in Kenya, in fact, it has only begun. If you would like to read about reverse culture shock, Jesus on a college campus, or more about Kenya, my blog is www.relentlessredimere.wordpress.com.
By Katy Colvin, Winter 2014 Team Member.