In just a few days, God is shifting my path to Africa again. To the Sudan more specifically. Yep. I will head to DFW airport on Monday afternoon, meet up with my eight team members in the sleek international terminal, and we will travel to the beautiful, but long-suffering continent of Africa.
While I have a few ideas of what awaits, I go with little expectation. A fresh canvas in my mind for God to create his story. To be sure, we go ready to impart the hope of Christ to a war weary people, but I have this odd sense, that I am going simply to be present. To look in the eyes of those dark, soulful faces and just remember them. Remember their stories. Remember their hope. Remember how they choose joy over circumstance. Remember we are indeed family. And to remember that there is a life we are called to live that is so far past our often binding comforts. A life that is not necessarily safe or easy, but very good. And immensely purposeful. And worth the risk.
While flipping through my journal the other day, I came across an entry from December 10, 2009. One of the lines simply said "...send me to another nation in 2010." And He is. To a place and a people I am humbled to see and serve. Theirs is a pain I cannot fully comprehend, which initially made me question my usefulness on this trip. But nearly in the same breath, I remembered the Christ I have come to know. This savior that redeems, heals, and restores -- from anything. And while I do not understand the specific sufferings of the Sudanese, I am familiar with the hope of Christ, and stubbornly but gratefully realized somewhere along my path that He is enough. Not just for a white girl living in Dallas, TX, but also, and perhaps even more so, for the oppressed people of Sudan. He just is.
If you get this far and are inclined to pray, my team and I would love that. Pray unity, selflessness, and a great love for each other and those we serve. Pray physical health and stamina. Pray joy over and through us. Pray we would be fully present in each moment. Pray we would not forget.
These final words that follow, I wrote in a blog entry from last year but seem almost hauntingly appropriate again: Let us draw near to Christ in such a way that our ears would hear the groans around us, our eyes would risk looking at people and then loving them, and our lives would become his patient relief.
A beautiful wrecking approaches.
I mean, what if?
"...seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."