During every waking moment, each of our Africa team members is bombarded with thoughts and reminders of things that must be done and items that should be packed. No matter what we accomplish, there is always a little bit more to do, more calls to make, more errands to run. Always more.
Those of you not making the trip are probably thinking, “Big deal. How is that any different from my life?” And, of course, you would be right.
There is always something more. New conversations. New information. Things forgotten. Things that became undone and must be redone.
More is what moves us forward. The promise of “something yet” keeps us awake and alert. The hope that at some time in the future the demand for more can be answered with “enough” drives us on. But life demands that there always be more.
Even today, just 4 days before we leave, Aaron, Robyn, Malcolm, Allison, Dan, Betty, and I are checking lists and making new lists. We are looking at curriculum and itineraries. And, as things invariably change, we are making adjustments.
Next Friday, when the plane door closes in Dallas, we will have a welcome respite from our tasks. We will have a moment when we feel the release from thinking about what needs to be done. (That feeling will, within hours, evaporate as we begin to mentally prepare for our training sessions and make those inevitable adjustments that can only be imagined at the eleventh hour.)
Lest this post sounds like we are beleaguered and overwhelmed — which we are — please hear us when we say that we are thankful there is more.
Our more is:
- A trip to the continent of Africa and the intriguing countries of Rwanda and Kenya.
- Beautiful landscapes and, to us, exotic plants and animals.
- Different and untried foods . . . and bottled water.
- An incredible opportunity to make new friends.
- New partners in peacemaking like African Leadership And Reconciiation Ministries and Made In The Streets Ministry.
- An adventure with teammates who we will never forget and who will be our life-long friends.
- A first-hand view of the aftermath of violence and the resilience of people.
- A too close view of ongoing violence and oppression.
- An image of smiling faces in the midst of challenge.
- The generous outpouring from so many who have provided us with art supplies, soccer balls, medical kits, and untold acts of kindness.
- Employers who allowed us time to make this journey.
- Teammates who took vacation days and leave without pay to make this journey.
- The vision and leadership of Betty who pursues purposeful experience for her students — and lets me come along.
- Our opportunity to join God in His mission of bringing peace.
Who could ask for anything more? Except maybe for rhythm.
(And with that, perhaps we should break into song.)