West Africa. {a few reflections and an onslaught of pictures.}

I don’t have the words yet.

Oh, I have pictures.  Lots of them.  But the words and the thoughts are coming at their own pace.  Slowly.  Almost as slowly as the jet lag has dissipated.

It feels trite and not even close to sufficient to say that my time in West Africa was amazing, though it certainly was.  Any and every trip I’ve been on overseas has rocked me, this trip probably more than others.

But why so amazing?  Well, I could spout off funny anecdotes and memories.  Like the time I was bitten by a monkey.  Or wound up OH SO VERY LOST in the African bush.  Or was gifted chickens by a generous village chief.

I could sing praises of my awesome team- of a surgeon and nurses and physicians and administrators- who came together with a united rallying cry: “My gifts are yours.  My talents are yours.  Have thine own way, Lord.”

I could go on and on about the missionaries on ground in West Africa.  Sweet goodness, could I speak of sacrificial love and the holy  and good work they’re doing in a difficult land.

But most of all, as the words trickle in and my heart continues to process through big feelings and hard questions, the overarching and unmistakable theme of it all is that our God is so much greater than we can even fathom.  As I stood on the ground of what truly felt to be the “ends of the earth”, I couldn’t shake these verses:

“The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him…

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lordand all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations…

They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!” (Psalm 22: 26-28, 31) 

He is doing it, y’all.  Turning hearts toward His greatness.  In big cities and remote villages.  In the darkest places and at the very ends of the earth.  His faithfulness never falters, and His righteousness is sure.  As the local church and lone believers cry out, “He has done it!,” the poor are being fed and the sick are being healed and hearts are being turned to Him.

And, you guys.  It’s a sight to behold.

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2 Comments on West Africa. {a few reflections and an onslaught of pictures.}

  1. Emily (Zimmerman) Herndon
    January 10, 2017 at 3:08 pm (6 months ago)

    I was tearing up reading this…and the I got to the picture of you holding that sweet baby and I just sobbed. Just a picture of LIFE “life to the full!” as He has promised. Thanks for sharing and for your encouraging words in this post! Glad you had a safe (and AMAZING!) trip! 🙂

  2. alisa
    January 10, 2017 at 6:30 pm (6 months ago)

    beautiful pictures….there are a couple of expressions that remind me so much of your mother! So thankful for your servant’s heart