Monday, April 28, 2014

Africa: The Land of Juxtaposition

This weekend, our church had an a retreat in the mountains, in the town of Somerset. The land scape was stunning...and it even snowed the night that we got there!

We arrived in Placerville early so we decided to stop at Cozmic Cafe, which is a really awesome coffee shop that has an old mine in the back! We ordered an ice coffee with some homemade lavender simple syrup! It was simply delicious.

During our short adventure, my roommate Jenny and I started reading the book Kisses from Katie. We only had her copy, so we read it together. As we went along, you can hear the small gasps and heavy sighs. We were instantly engrossed in the life of this "normal" American teenager.  At the age of 19, Katie Davis decides to give up everything she has known to move to Uganda. Not only has God blessed her with the compassion and ability to love everyone around her, she is an incredible writer! In the introduction, she shares:

"It is not about God making my dreams come true but about God changing my dreams into His dreams for my life."

Amen, sister! She goes on to talk about the rich culture and potent faith of these Ugandan people. And my heart fills with longing: I cannot wait to go. I am so excited to encounter a country and a people that live so wholeheartedly. Later, Katie writes:

"They lived in houses of sticks or stones and mud; they slept on hard dirt floors. But they did not blame God for this or ask Him for more."

They did not ask for more. They believe in His greatness and goodness and unconditional love despite or maybe in spite of their circumstances. This blows my mind! They did not ask for more. They were satisfied and filled in ways many people living in the first world will never know. Over and over, her words plucked at my heart strings. But it was this line that made it sing:

"But I should not pity these children. In fact, I should envy them. At six years old, these children know what it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit."

I cannot explain the emotion that I felt. It was a mixture of excitement and love and desire and fulfillment. In less than two months (or 50 days!), I will embarking on an adventure that no doubt will change my life. For so long I resisted "the trend" of going to Africa, but there is just something about that continent, those people, their faith that is contagious and can rouse the hardest heart. You can't pinpoint it exactly, but I think Katie Davis is trying to say that it's the striking juxtaposition, the abounding faith despite the physical desolation, that propels you from your stagnancy. 

More thoughts and quotes from Katie Davis to come.

You are loved.

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