I know. I know I have been slacking off, I know I haven’t posted since forever, and I know that this post is going to be NOTHING like the type of posts that you usually find here. For anyone that finds any of these above things disappointing, I’m sorry. Life has been crazy since Australia, and I have a feeling that it’s only going to get more crazy over the next two weeks.
Why? Today Josh and I leave for Africa.
Going on this trip had meant TONS of planning, and it’s kinda crazy that today is the day that we’ve been planning for.
A few days back, I was talking to a friend who said something blunt, yet true to me, regarding this trip. We’ve all got at least one of those friends right? The ones that simply say what they think. And although sometimes their truth sings, you love them for it.
She said, “Two weeks? That’s not very long. I feel like these short term mission trips are more for the people that go on them than they are for the people that they’re serving while gone.”
Ouch! I’d been saying that on and off for months, “We may not make a huge difference over there, but this trip is definitely going to impact us.” But to hear it come so bluntly and openly from somebody else. It stung for a second… Okay, maybe it stung for a few days. Regardless, it’s the pure and simple truth.
When I kick my pride to the curb I can see that Uganda is a country that has some pretty serious suffering and there’s no way little miss Kelley is going to fix it all in a two week trip. War, disease, hunger, homelessness, motherless children… the list goes on and on… There are some areas of suffering that I don’t even want to type out. They make me that sad.
If I can’t even type them, why in the world did a small part of me think I was going to have any impact on helping to rid an entire country of them?! I guess that’s just the big ol’ oversized ego I’ve got.
I can say without a doubt that this trip (before it has even really begun) has already taught me a HUGE lesson. Being humble is hard. And, as as of yet, I’ve sucked at it.
After a few days of being hurt by my friend’s comment, I finally decided to sit down and pray about it (could have saved myself alot of time if I would have just done that whole praying thing first… another lesson this trip has been teaching me). Afterwards I had an overwhelming sense of peace about the whole thing. I realized that it’s okay that that statement is true. It’s okay that there’s not much (if anything) that I personally can do in Africa in just two weeks.
I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. If I was some kind of super-human that could easily go to Africa and fix everything in a matter of days without breaking a sweat, who would be getting the glory for those actions? Me. As a super-human, it would be all me, with all my personal power changing the world… Oh goody, another ego boost to add to my list.
That’s the last thing I need. While getting ready for this trip I’ve watched myself deal with issues of pride time and time again:
- Having to ask people for money while fundraising…. Have you ever had to do this?! Talk about a HUGE pride-buster! Especially for somebody who grew up without much money and PROMISED herself that she would never be the type of person that would have to ask for hand-outs.
- Packing for the trip… It’s pretty much impossible to think about looking fashionable while going on a trip to Africa to help build a home for orphans. I had to suck it up, buy a baseball hat and some cargo pants and call it good.
- Plans for eating on the trip… I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not sure that will fly in Uganda. “Oh, I don’t like meat. Please cook me something that better meets my specifications.” I may just have to deal with it and eat what’s put in front of me, even if that means eating something that once had a face.
I think it’s clear that I’m pretty much set in the arrogance department, saving an entire continent would likely put me over the edge.
Then, just as I decided to stop sulking about my inability to make much of a difference in Uganda, I remembered how powerful God is. I remembered that His word says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Well, what an awesome reminder that is since I’ve just comes to terms with the fact that I’m essentially powerless.
In my weakness HE is strong. I fully believe that. And now I know for a fact that anything that comes out of this trip is due to Him and for His glory.
This prideful girl is going to work hard over the next two weeks to set the pride aside and let God do his work (through me if He so chooses).
So, I think it’s clear that my friend was right. Even if nothing else comes out of this trip… I’ve already been changed.