One thing I will not miss about Kenya?…. having to trek to the “Cyber” to use the internet! This will probably be my last post before I fly home over the weekend and I just wanted to quickly type out a few closing thoughts.
I’ve come to realize that I’ll do most of the emotional unpacking from this trip AFTER I get home and not necessarily sort it all out right now while I’m here. Someone told me before I left, to spend every moment of my time here living and serving to the max, experiencing it all….There will be plenty of time to work through it when I’m home. And he was exactly right!
I can’t begin to elaborate on all of the things I’ve discovered by living in this African culture and seeing all of the sad and often horrific things I’ve seen. But a few things I’ve learned:
1) I am blessed and I have everything I need.
I packed for a three week trip in a hiking pack. I rotate the same tanks and cargos throughout my work week. I don’t worry about make-up, my wardrobe back home, my social life, my silly blackberry…. I’m away from it all and it’s been completely refreshing! In America, we have so much more than we need. Even those of us in our mid-twenties like me who find themselves complaining that we never have enough money… Lord help me that I NEVER think those thoughts again! There is such beauty in a simpler life and living on exactly what you need. The rest just gets in the way.
2) “Don’t do nothing just because you can’t do everything.”
Such a simple thought but I’ve been guilty of this mindset when I think about volunteering and serving. I read this quote in a book while here in Kenya and it struck me with how applicable it is to my life right now. Here I am working in such extreme poverty and seemingly hopeless situations every day, and it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin! Day 1 at the IDP camps I almost had a panic attack after first being exposed to that people group and how they’re suffering, starving, and battling to keep their families alive.
All God asks of us is to do SOMETHING. Help in SOME small way. And it doesn’t always have to be across the world in Kenya. There is need everywhere, it’s all around us, so just do something! Imagine what our communities would look like, the cities we call home transforming simply because everyone pitched in a little.
3) “Now that I have seen, I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead.“
Those are lyrics from a Brooke Fraser song that Lynds had me listen to last night when we were journaling. Again, it’s just a simple thought but rings true to me after this trip. Now that I’ve seen these things, the IDP camps and the Kibera slum, I’m responsible. You can’t play the apathetic card when you’ve been exposed to something like this. The “Yes We Kenya” team is brewing up some big ideas for how to partner with these projects when we get home to chicago, so stay tuned for how you can be involved!
Sorry that was a bit long-winded…. next up, home to the lovely US of A : )