Monday, June 25, 2012

leaving on a jet plane.

i took it all in today. holding back tears. and drinking in the sounds of the sweet ville.

the orphanage was hard.

kissing my Abdourman...knowing it could be more than a year before i check on him again....was almost more than my heart could handle. i cried. and i cried hard. the hard, warm tears that overflow when you aren't expecting them. coming just around the time the line "red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight..."

oh, that he would realize how special he is in the sight of the King. for him to understand that i would take him home to be mine in a second. that he would know he is special. his disability does not mean he is worthless but rather gives our Daddy the opportunity to show off a little bit more.

but all of the sentimental came to a screeching hault when....the typical day in the life happened....the newest addition threw up all over me. almost spoiled milk on a the 120 degree heat. let's all take a moment and realize how disgusting THAT is.

i wouldn't have wanted my last day there any other way.

my bags are packed....okay, almost. and they are overweight. i know, so typical. i earn the worst packer award. you think i would be good at it by now.

and my ticket is ready for tomorrow.

a new adventure. a new stamp in my passport. and new kids to love. new people to meet. new everything.

while all of that excites me, it is still hard to leave. with not a lot of pictures being permitted here...i am trying to ingrain their faces in my memory. every line. every scar. every little piece of hair out of place.

so tonight i took a walk. bought the kids some stuff. and said goodbye to my students.

the hope we have is that every child i loved. every student i poured into. He was there. He is here. and He continues to work even when i am gone.

Ethiopia, i'm coming for ya!

no blogs until i arrive back home to the states. it's illegal there.

see ya on the flip side :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

on leaving. and loving. and hospitals.

walking by the used clothes market I smelled it. the smell of sweat. old tshirts. dirt. and sheer desperation.

it took me back to about 2 weeks ago. that same smell was in a small hospital room only lit up by a window right beside my bed. i was queasy. i was burning up. i was sicker than i realized.

it was in that room. in that moment. smelling all the smells of this place within a hospital full of dying people. it hit me and it hit me hard as the doctor freaked out over my fever that had gone WAY down over the course of the night before i arrive. He saved me.

not the fairy tale kinda saving, knight on a white horse, riding off into the sunset. but the kind of saving i needed. our Heavenly Daddy touched me. in the hot room of my house. alone. with a tear stained pillow. and pain like i have never known.

i am not naive. {well, i am...but not for this} that night my fever was so high. with no medicine. that my body could have went into shock. i could have had a really bad story but i don't.

i have a story of grace. and mercy. and pure miracle-working power.

most people don't go into a hospital in east africa and come out well. they leave dead. or close to death. but my story is different because He lives. so i can too.

so as i look at the calendar and see the days winding down here. i am certain that my being here was no mistake.

i was not forbidden to enter somewhere else because of chance. i was not randomly chosen for this work. but instead it was divine intervention. one that should forever be remembered and praised.

He makes these incredible stories out of the literal dust. and that is all i saw when i arrived.

a house in the worst neighborhood. no water. people screaming and throwing rocks at me. dirt. sewage. sweat. dirt. rocks. dirt. sweat. and for a minute...i wanted home. but i did not realize that He was preparing this place to be my home.

it happened so quickly. and so discreetly. that i cannot tell you the exact moment or day {seeing as i have LACKED on journaling..} but it happened. and one was just HOME. where my heart was. where my people were. where i wanted to be.

i saw a place full of joy even though every place i looked i saw sorrow.
i saw a place full of peace even though chaos existed everywhere.
i saw a place full of hope although desperation was sitting on every corner on a cardboard box.

i knew this place was ready. it is ready. for seeds to be buried. for watering to happen. for love to take ACTION.

you see....this place is a dot on the map. no one cares about it. THE largest organizations for this business do not even have people here.

but He cares. He loves them. He. is. here. and He will be here...even after i hop that plane Tuesday.

am i sad to leave? you betcha.
am i scared to leave? yes.
do i know that His stories turn out the best? of course.

so i will leave.

the babies i adore. and the kids who call me hojo.

i will leave the neighborhood that kisses my hands and brings their naked babies for me to bless.

i will leave my students knowing that they are on the brink of learning EXCELLENT english...with a Southern accent.

i will leave the dirt. and the sewage. and the hottest weather on earth.

i will leave the veils.

i will leave my broken bed...knowing it is a representation of the very thing He did here. took those white knuckles of mine and broke them free.

i will move on to another place in need of love. and give a love that cannot be contained.