It's been two weeks since I’ve been back from Africa and I have been trying to put my experience into words. My experience this year was much different than last year. Last year, I went to Africa in the most broken state I think I’ve ever been in. Everything was falling a part at home and I just needed to get away.
My soul needed rest.
My heart needed a break.
My mind needed to be renewed.
Throughout the entire trip God placed people in my path to speak life and healing over me. I left Africa with hope. I felt the healing process begin.
Fast Forward to this year’s trip. It wasn’t my original intent to go. I figured I needed to save money and I wanted to try one of the other mission trips. However, when the application became available, I felt this tug at my heart. I knew I needed to go back. I wasn’t sure why but I know God was telling me to go back. I applied by faith and I told God if its your will for me to go you will make a way. As I waited for the approval of my application, I prayed and asked God to show me my purpose for going back. I am at a point in my life that I don’t want to make a move unless its a God ordained move. Well anyway, one day during my devotion, God brought me to a specific verse.
Luke 4:18 says “The spirit of the Lord is upon me. For he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; heal the brokenhearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. To set at liberty those who are oppressed and to proclaim the year of the favor of the Lord.”
I have read this scripture before but this time around it stood out to me, specifically one part of the verse. “Heal the Brokenhearted”. In that moment I felt like God was revealing my purpose for going back. He was giving me my answer. I needed to go back and heal the broken hearted. Now don’t get me wrong. I am no where near capable of healing someone’s heart. Only God can do that. However, I knew I could be used as an instrument of healing. I am a living testimony that healing is possible even in the midst of brokenness. Just like multiple team members poured out their love on me, covered me in their prayers and gave me a warm embrace, I knew I now needed to be that same person for someone else on this trip. I needed to tell/show someone that its ok to be broken and that God could heal their pain.
Upon my arrival to Africa, I was still a bit unsure of what my purpose was for being there. I think I was unsure of what God had already spoken to me. Well God sure has a way of showing up and casting doubt to the side. Throughout the trip, God presented me with various opportunities to be an instrument of healing. Whether it was through song, hugging someone and just allowing them release what they were feeling through tears or sharing my testimony. Through each of these moments, God was reaffirming my purpose for being there and I thanked him for that. Im still thanking Him. I thanked Him that I am no longer mentally or emotionally in the same place I was in last year. I am on the road to healing and I wanted others to have the same hope that keeps me going.
Africa, you will forever have my heart. Every year you make me fall more in love with humanity and you show me that the love of God is so tangible. The people. The culture. The passion in which the people serve God. The whole experience is forever engrained in my heart. Thank you Mission Africa for once again changing my perception of what it means to be a missionary.