i promise you it's a lie

Africa.  The thought of this place gets people every time.  Maybe they picture orphans or kids who are so skinny you can almost literally see their ribs poking through their weak skin.  Maybe they picture people carrying water on their heads or dirt with those famous trees everyone sees on the postcards.  Or maybe they just picture a broken place that needs love and the Lord more than anything else.

But there's one thing I know for sure.  Most people picture Africa as somewhere they never want to go.  It's not on their agenda, it's not on their Bucket List or somewhere they'd ever even consider going to.

Why?  Well people, I'm here to tell you why that is.  Are you ready?

Because it's uncomfortable.

Yes, I said that it's because it's uncomfortable.  We live in America, who on earth would choose to be uncomfortable.  Well let me be really honest with you.

It's good to be uncomfortable sometimes.

To get yourself out of your comfort zone, go sleep in some 8x8 rooms where chickens are killed outside the broken window at 3am, oh, and don't forget that you probably won't be taking the hottest showers or, for that matter, even getting a shower.

Some people would rather just give their money or send something in a box to Africa because it's "easier".  Because you don't have to fly for 30 hours over to sleep on hard beds and not get a shower for a week.  You can keep sleeping in your comfy bed in your heated/air-conditioned home and drink the water that comes straight from your sink and still help the people in Africa.  But what's that doing to help/change/alter you...?  Nothing.

The uncomfortable part of the thought of Africa is a lie.  It's an excuse.  It's ridiculous.

It's not sleeping on hard beds listening to chickens being killed or not having a shower for a whole week.  It's not being uncomfortable.  It's the transformation of your heart.  It's the life-changing part of Africa that should get people every time.  I promise you it will be the most uncomfortable experience of your life.  In almost every way shape and form, you will be uncomfortable.  But the way those kids smile and the way they hold your hand... it's irreplaceable   They'd ask me to take a picture of them with their students, and when I showed them the photo their face would turn into the biggest smile I've ever seen.  Just because they've never seen themselves on a photograph before in their life... and that's irreplaceable   It's more than sending a check every month.  It's more than a prayer every night.  It's getting your hands dirty.  It's trusting God and what He's doing in your heart and in the heart of the people of Africa.  So..... the thought of Africa should not be uncomfortable.  It should not be somewhere no one wants to go because of that.  It should be looked at as broken.  You just have to remember that only you can put it back together.




"O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear." Psalm 10:17

Olivia  – (October 30, 2012 at 7:26 AM)  

wow. thank you for this. I am thinking about going to africa next summer. I would love to hear your total experience! xx.

Megan  – (October 30, 2012 at 7:33 PM)  

Wow Emma. I love this post so much. I had the privilege of going to Africa, and honestly, I realized how selfish we as Americans are. And how blessed we are without even knowing it. Getting dirty is not something I like to do, but it's something all of us are called to do. And that makes being uncomfortable worth it.

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