Looking for Jesus in Africa
A few years ago I started following Katie Davis on her blog (kissesfromkatie) and for the first time in my life I wanted to go to Africa. Through Katie's blog I learned about Renee (Serving His Children), also living, working and loving in Uganda and I REALLY wanted to go to Africa. It isn't because I love the heat and am dying to experience malaria and dengue fever. Nor is it because I think Africa desperately needs me...or that I can save anyone...Jesus already did that and I can barely take care of myself sometimes. It's because in these girls' lives (and I call them girls because they're both in their early 20s) I can see Jesus so much clearer than I can here in the land of the spoiled and the idolatrous. I'm somewhat familiar with suffering, and how those two girls can hold babies while they die of starvation, take in orphan after orphan, and fight the evil that is poverty and disease on a daily basis without losing their joy in the Jesus who saved them, tells me that the Holy Spirit is doing what only He can do in their lives.
I want to see that.
I want to be part of that.
I want to know Jesus like that.
It's so easy here to trust in ourselves, our stuff, our medicine, and our money to get us through life, that I think we've lost the ability...or maybe the desire...to trust only in the Holy Spirit. It feels like we've traded a life filled with His wonders for a small manageable life that we can control. We don't make eye contact with the needy, or take in the homeless, because that would be uncomfortable. Instead we pour our resources into ourselves and our homes, trying to make them perfect and we hoard what we have because what if...
What if tomorrow our world falls apart?
What if we try and just end up getting hurt?
What if we trust and our worst nightmare comes true?
I really think it's the "what-ifs" that keep us from trusting God and really living. There are a million of them and the truth is that sometimes they happen. Jesus said that in this world we WILL have trouble, but that we should take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Translation - "There's no way to avoid pain and suffering in this life, but walk with Me and see what I can do with those things." What I see in these girls' lives is what happens when someone simply obeys Jesus and follows Him without needing to know how it's going to end.
Tomorrow I'm heading to Uganda to see that for myself, and I'm praying that my life starts looking more like that too.