We got in early yesterday morning after nearly 24 hours of travel. I was a bundle of nerves. Excitement, fear, heartache, stress all gripped my heart knowing what these next few weeks would hold for us. Leaving Africa was hard as I wasn't quite ready to return to the reality of saying our good-byes, selling our things and closing a chapter of our lives here in Colombia, yet knowing this is all necessary in order to open the next chapter of our lives in Africa.
As I relfect on the last couple of months spent there, I am so grateful for the amazing opportunity to experience many faces of Africa. I am humbled by the Africans and the people there serving them. We learned so much and have newfound deep respect for the missionaries serving there. Africa is not an easy continent and so they must rely upon God's strength each and every day. I feel blessed to have spent the time getting to know them and their hearts for Africa. Each one taught me something new. One couple taught me about the importance of planning and hard work as I watched them work together harmoniously like a well oiled machine. One man taught me about the importance of not taking life too seriously (missionary life can get really intense!!) and enjoying some "normalcy" along the way. We watched another couple use their administrative gifts to raise up 2 amazing ministries in a short period of time. We stayed in the home of a sweet couple who showered us with unbelievable hospitality and showed us how to love big. Really big! We met a couple who have a humble approach to loving and learning from the people in the village they serve. It was obvious they had won over many hearts! Another couple taught us the importance of really knowing and understanding the culture, people and country you serve in. What a wonderful opportunity to glean from such a great group of missionaries.
I am so thankful for all the experiences we encountered along the way. From the women dancing with such joy and fervor in Naigobya Uganda to the ladies bringing small offerings of eggs and peanuts and placing them at their beloved Stacy's feet to eating a traditional Senegalese meal on the floor from a communal dish. These are priceless memories that have been imprinted deep in the flesh of our hearts.