While I try not to smother people with Africa and Jesus and too much of this or too much of that, my heart is just threatening to burst with each of these things. With Africa, with Jesus, with too many wars and too many children without a pair of shoes on their feet. I can’t beat around the bush or paint it pretty anymore.
I thought, and somewhat hoped that I’d spend my couple weeks in Africa and that would be it, I’d get my fix and move on. But the Lord began breaking my heart for Africa more than I anticipated.
Not just an, “Oh, I feel bad. Glad I have a roof over my head, but I’ve got too much on my plate right now.” kind of hurt.
He wrecked me. Pouring into me, He turned my world completely upside down, and suddenly I wanted to walk barefoot and skip a meal and do my laundry in buckets in my backyard. To me, it didn’t seem like there was any other way. I wanted to be covered in dirt like them, to run and jump and tickle, hoping they’d forget the reality of what they were living in. And that’s what we did together, the children and I. We wallowed in dirt, we tossed a bag full of rocks back and forth, we chased each other. That to me was the realization that, “Wow, I really am a child of God.”
At night it got freezing. You think of Africa, and you think of the Sahara and a hot sun. Well, I do anyway. No place in South Africa has heat, not the poorest nor the richest. I froze, chilled to the bone, in layers upon layers of clothing, while hundreds of thousands of people froze in a ripped t-shirt and shorts, outside. And yet there were moments where I selfishly thought, why am I here? No heat, little to no hot water, ect. I really started to second guess myself, and quickly found myself wondering what I had gotten myself into. Sara, you are crazy. Why would you love a place like this so much? 2 Corinthians 5:13 says, “If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God.” And while I struggle for an answer for myself, that’s the only one I need. It didn’t take long for Him to reveal that baby wipe baths and too-early-alarms are a small price to pay, and I better just get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I was leaving a woman’s shack to hurry back to the bus due to lack of time when these three young girls met us in the street. They wanted to hear the Good News, and I thank the Lord they found us in that busy place. Each one was eager to hear about the Gospel, and asked us to share. Wouldn’t you know, by the grace of God, there were three of us. One for each girl. I pulled one of them aside, and we sat down where we were at. I had 10 minutes. I could feel the doubt in me creeping up, I thought for sure I’d lose this one to time. God I thought. I struggle to share the Gospel in an hour, how on earth can I do it in ten minutes?
I did it in seven, and another soul found Jesus. My, what the Holy Spirit can do. To add to the celebration, so did two more. I can’t wait to see my sisters in Heaven, AIDS free, when the Kingdom calls us.
Let me tell you about Ibo, because too often we forget that we serve a God of miracles. Ibo is a three year old in Diepsloot. He suffered from a birth defect caused by fetal alcohol syndrome, leaving his eyes seeing in opposite directions. Through the power of prayer, The Lord healed this young boy, leaving him giggling and running in circles as he saw straight for the very first time. Praising God that Ibo is just ONE of many healings. Such a big miracle in such a small boy.
I didn’t get my fix. I’m crazy, but it’s for the Lord. Miracles still happen. The lost are found. An extra hand to hold only makes for a greater walk. Love is greater. Mercy never ceases. There’s wreckage, and there’s restoration. These things I have learned, and these things I will carry with me until my last day.
My life for the Gospel.