It has obviously been a long time since I have posted. This is for a variety of reasons...busy life, still working through some emotions of my time in Africa, laziness, and at the end of the day, I'm just not really the type of guy who spends a lot of time reading or writing this kind of stuff. But, at the end of the day, I fully realize that this is not only an opportunity to share my experiences with my family and friends who I don't see everyday, but it is also a way to chronicle my experiences and hopefully my kids will be able to read and appreciate and be proud of some of the things that I have done in my life.
Tomorrow, Shannon and I head back to Ethiopia. This trip is for a very different and exciting reason...to meet baby Zion! We have held pictures of him for several months now and we finally get the opportunity to meet him and appear in front of the high court of Ethiopia. Unfortunately, our time with Zion will be very limited and we can't bring him home this trip, but just meeting him and holding him will be an amazing experience.
We are also going to be able to visit Korah while we are there, along with several other ministries. If you read this blog while I was there in August, you have an idea as to what kind of affect Korah had on me, so the chance to return and visit our friends and worship with them in their church on Sunday morning is an amazing opportunity. Obviously I have some mixed emotions as to whether it will be the same as my last visit, or will it be better? Will we be received as well as the last trip? Will Shannon embrace the culture like I have? Only time will tell...
We are also blessed to be visiting a couple of orphanages that were recommended to us by my new, good friend Caleb David at One Child Campaign. I don't know much about these ministries, other than they are for former street kids ages 8-15 and we will be able to meet them, talk, play, and serve them. They have asked me to talk for a few minutes, sharing God's word and encouraging them to work hard to achieve all that God has in store for them. This isn't something I feel very good at, but I'm sure He will help me out when I get there.
It was rather interesting packing our bags tonight. It definitely had a lot of the same feel that I had last summer, but it was also rather different. A lot less unknowns I guess, which leads to less anxiety. And, a lot of excitement - to meet Zion, serve others, serve God, and spend some amazing one-on-one time with my wonderful wife of 9 years with no interruptions. While I don't know if I could live disconnected all the time, because of the way we live here, but it sure is nice to step away from technology for a few days, slow down, and appreciate life.
As I have told many people since returning the last time, for all of the things that Africa has wrong, they also have a lot of things right. They are a relationship dominated society which cares much more about spending time with friends and family than they do worrying about the next event they need to attend. That is why I feel that I developed a much better appreciation for Love while I was in Africa last summer. The people we worked with showed me how to Love Big (to steal a Roger Gibson line). I hope some more of that rubs off on me over the next week.
Please keep us in your prayers as we make the long trek back to Africa. I will do my best to keep you posted on our adventures...