i wrote this post a few weeks ago, and saved it as a draft because i didn't know if i wanted to share it or not.... but today, i'd like to share it.


Today, I did a speech on my Africa trip.  And although maybe it didn't turn out as perfectly as I had imagined it to be, it was sooooooo good to talk about Africa again.

For those of you who don't know, I went to Africa in 2009.  It was the most life-changing thing I have ever experienced.  Suuuuch a blessing.  No one actually realizes the gratitude and overwhelming blessings you feel unless you've been there.  So when I was gathering thoughts about this speech, I knew I had to talk about this on my blog.

The memories, they make it feel like yesterday.  The photographs, they make me want to go back.  And so I got to thinking....  why did I go to Africa in the first place?  To be honest, when this trip first came to my attention, I didn't think at all about how it may be life-changing.  I really don't even know what I was thinking.  But... after I saw the faces, met the people, lived a tiny piece of their life, I knew this was where I was supposed to be.

Africa is like a second home, almost.  No matter how uncomfortable or hard or scary or anything it was there, it made me feel most happy.  Being with those kids, those people, those faces.  After that trip, I realized that I was supposed to be there.  I think it's kind of part of me.  Africa is a part of me.  Without Africa, I would not have the heart for orphans, love for children, and longing to help needy people that I have today.  Also, the gratitude.  After experiencing life there for just ten days, I came home and took the longest shower ever.  And I remember standing there with hot water spraying down at my face, telling myself how amazing it is to have a never ending supply of clean water.

I still today wonder why do I have the house I have, while the people in Haiti are in ruins.  Why do I have a family, and there are millions of orphans all over the world who have no one.  In America we are blessed to have clean water.  We are blessed to have money to buy anything we want.  Anything we want.  And we always wonder why God takes away.  But we never wonder why He gives.  Why would He give me everything I want, but give them hardly anything?

I think it is so much more of a blessing to them, but also you, to give time.  It's not always the money that blesses them.  It's the presence.  No person has any idea how blessed you feel the moment you step onto Africa's soil unless....... you've been there.  Overwhelming emotion that enters your soul.... and it stays with you forever.

I sure pray that I can go back.


Olivia  – (November 6, 2011 at 5:45 AM)  

This was beautiful, and I see myself in your words over and over again. When I went to Ethiopia last year, it changed my life, and when I got home, I just wanted to go straight back. I, too, feel like it is part of me now. Thank you for this post!

Kaarin Puhala –   – (November 6, 2011 at 7:27 AM)  

Beautiful, Emma. I pray you can go back too.

Kimberly  – (November 6, 2011 at 8:45 AM)  

Oh Emma. This was beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it! really made me stop and think, it was such a good wake up call. I pray you'll be able to go back some day <3

Hope  – (November 6, 2011 at 10:44 AM)  

gorgeous post Emma! I really hope to visit Africa someday!

Sarah C.  – (November 7, 2011 at 8:01 AM)  

Amazing! Your such an inspiration, <3

Kim Thompson  – (November 7, 2011 at 9:49 PM)  

You are amazing! I am so glad that you got to experience this with your daddy.

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