I have now spent the last 3 weeks in the Western Cape of South Africa. I have spent time with the hardest gang on the streets of Cape Town. I have been to the southern most point of Africa, seen penquins and snow (in two separate locations!), fed the homeless, walked the streets with "street-children, " taught classes in an industrial size trash container, held countless orphans, played soccer and rugby with random strangers in the street, ate some of the best tasting meat grilled on top of a trash can with my bare hands...
I've been dolled and dressed up to see a high school senior off for her "prom." Been bled on, spit on and loved on! I have been treated with dignity, respect, honor... and also been seen only as a dollar sign and easy target! I have cried, laughed and prayed with strangers. I have been given one of the greatest gifts of a life time.
I have seen the face of Jesus in the eyes of a child. I have seen my own face in the oppressor and the oppressed. And I am growing to see how Jesus died for both of them. I struggle with how it is all supposed to make sense! I don't get how God has it all figured out! How is it fair that so many have too much and WAY TOO MANY have nothing?
I pray for both; the oppressor and oppressed alike!
It is a strange feeling...to sit here, knowing I only have 33 hours left in Africa. Six of those I will spend sleeping, two I will spend driving, and two I will spend at the airport. So really, I have 23 hours left of LIFE in Africa, until I return home!
It is a strange feeling!
This is one of the moments in life that I can truly attach the word, "bittersweet." I miss my family and friends very much. Not in the way that it has taken away from my experience here; not in the slightest. However, now that it is becoming closer and closer to getting to see them; I can't wait!
As I get closer and closer to seeing them...I get dreadfully closer to leaving what I have come to love! I don't know how it is possible just yet, to go back to a place that I have many people whom I love, and still have my heart in Africa. These children have stolen my heart. As I lay awake at night; their faces, their laughs, their stories, keep running through my mind. I dream of how I can come back and be with them again. Their little hands in my hands. Their faces pressed up against mine. I am scared the day will come when I can't feel that anymore! I am convinced; their is nothing in this life, like the heart of a child.
I wish I could put into words the strange feeling that it is to leave this place. I am so fortunate to have come here. I have experienced a life amongst the "least of these" and found my heart amongst the greatest in the Kingdom of God. These children are the greatest in His kingdom. And my heart breaks as I think about leaving them behind... I want to scream out, "it's not fair!"
Beyond a doubt; we are loved by God. By loving these children, they have shown me the love of Jesus. It is weird to think about; but God showered His blessings upon me through the heart of a child... over and over! I am blessed! I only pray, that I have been a blessing to them!
...32 and a half hours left...
tears... lots and lots of tears...