There are so many moments of my recent trip to Ethiopia that I haven't shared. The memories have pressed against me, into me. I'm carrying them around and the longer I do, the more I'm sure they're changing me.
On the second full day in Addis, I became suddenly and viciously sick, the kind of sick that leaves you sweating off your pretty while you throw up in Ziploc baggies in front of all your friends, on the bumpiest and longest van ride of your life.
It was everyone's favorite day of the trip.
I missed all of it.
And though the mystery illness was over within 12 hours, I had trouble talking about all I missed. It made me weepy. I didn't understand God and I felt sure that he could have at least picked a different day.
But the truth is, He was there. He made concessions for me.
The windows of the van were left open and I heard the laughter, the singing, all the raucous joy. It was unmistakable, unrestrained.
This little guy climbed aboard, smiling at me with those eyes. He came to visit a few times and though I know I fall slightly on the side of over-thinking, I knew he was a gift for me, sent straight to where I lay when I just didn't have it in me to rise up.
God is working through Ethiopia in my heart right now, today, on this chilly morning where the air feels ready to change its tune and my floors need a mopping. He's teaching me about provision.
Do I really believe that I have all I need?
Do I trust enough that in this season of our financial discombobulation, we still have plenty to offer?
I'm sure it's impossible to travel to a third-world country without taking stock of the disparity existing between what I want and what I need. It's painful to acknowledge what my brothers and sisters in Ethiopia lack, since I know I could be part of the solution. I'd rather ignore those kinds of thoughts and keep making lists of all the things I want.
But sacrifice was never meant to be easy.
The people I met in Africa gave me a glimpse of the freedom that exists in letting go.
They have lost and lacked, and yet they smile and love and cry and try.
They accept what they are given as a gift.
They trust that their needs will be met.
And you and I get to play a part in meeting those needs.
Almost two years ago we funded a well in just a couple of months. We exceeded the goal, beyond anything I could have imagined.
Today, we start something new.
Right here you'll find my spankin' new Mocha Club/FPFG team page.
Our team will work together to raise funds for Women At Risk (WAR). At WAR, women are rescued from a life of prostitution and welcomed into a new life of love, grace, dignity, and economic freedom.
You can be part of my team for as little as $9 each month.
Click here to sign up. Then go to Join the Club up in the orange box.
(If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments and I'll do my very best to answer them in the comments today.)
AND....anyone who joins today will get a free I Need Africa scarf or pocket T!
I mean, SCORE.
(I have both products and love them. I'm sporting the T as we speak!)
I've seen first-hand what they say, that I Need Africa more than Africa Needs Me.
I can't help anyone if my heart remains unchanged, and they are a catalyst of change.
What we need is one another.
We need to be released from the lie that we "need" more than what we already have.
We need to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
So Let's do it.