The Trip that Ruined My Life

Truth? I’ve been avoiding writing this post.

How does one describe all that she experienced while in Kenya for two weeks?
How does one explain all the poverty that she laid her eyes on?
How does on capture the beauty of a country and people that are indescribable?

One cannot & I shall not try to express all that I experienced while in Kenya. It would not do the country nor the people justice. No, this post won’t detail the timeline of my trip. It won’t give names of the people that I met in Kenya. It won’t share their stories.

But I’ll tell you a few things…

My life is ruined. Perhaps I’ve been ruined in the best way possible.
Before my trip to Kenya, I was getting my nails done once every two weeks, and now I cringe at the thought of spending money on something so trivial.
Before my trip to Kenya, I could go to sleep every night without this ache in my chest for those who are living without a bed, without a home & without a family.
Before my trip to Kenya, I could go through a car wash and get my car sparkling and clean without feeling the guilt for spending my money on something cosmetic for a vehicle that most of the world doesn’t have the luxury of owning.
Before my trip to Kenya, I was able to sit in an American church & not be burdened with American Christianity.

Before my trip to Kenya, I was your average middle-class American, living in the top 2% of the entire world and being completely numb to my advantages.
I was your typical American Christian, more consumed with myself and my comfort, than I was consumed with Jesus or my role in helping to end world poverty.

But you see, everything is different now.
My life is ruined to the wealth and riches that we Americans call  ‘middle class’ living.
My life is ruined to the comfort that wraps its claws around me on a daily basis.
My life is ruined to the complacent Christianity that I so often find myself in the midst of—a Christianity that is more consumed on pointing out the flaws in others than helping the poor and widows.

I’m not anywhere near perfect. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop where the coffee is $4 a cup, typing on my Macbook computer, while I check my iPhone every couple minutes.
I am beyond broken. In fact, I’m more consumed in sin and selfishness than anyone I met in Kenya. Money blinds us. Wealth strangles us. Affluence numbs us.

Maybe that’s why the Bible cautions us over and over again… “Keep your lives from the love of money,” “You cannot serve both God and money, & “Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”

God, break me down. Open my eyes. Don’t let my love of stuff, my love of comfort or my love of money keep me from loving you deeper & deeper every day.

‘The Trip that Ruined my Life.’ It’s more than a captivating title.
It’s the reality behind my journey to Kenya and back.

Some day very soon, I’ll write a post portraying all the details of my trip to Kenya.
I’ll tell the stories because the stories need to be told.
I’ll share the pictures because the pictures help tell the stories.
I’ll try to explain what I experienced because you, as my friend, care enough to know the details. Some of you have supported me financially & prayerfully, and for that, you deserve to hear the stories.

So, in time, I will share more.
But for now, just know this…my life is forever ruined…& I wouldn’t change it for the world.

 

By Hayley Jane Garr, Winter 2015 Team Member.
To visit her blog, visit: http://hayjane.blogspot.com

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