Thursday, June 19, 2008

Safari Day in Africa

Today is my final blog from Africa as we head back to Lusaka tomorrow and leave Zambia on Saturday…we hope to get a chance to do some work in the RAPIDS office, a USAID funded program to help in the prevention and care of those suffering from HIV/AIDS all across Zambia…

We had an amazing time traveling to Botswana and seeing a wide assortment of animals up close and personal in our safari at Chobe Game Park today…we started out cruising the river and met up with crocidiles, hippos, exotic birds, and elephants taking baths to cool off on a sunny day…after lunch we headed out in jeeps on the land and saw three lions sleeping on top of each other, a group of ten giraffes running in sequence across the African plains, and so many impala, buffalo, kudu, and more elephants you can’t even count them all…we should have incredible pictures to show you and going to the zoo back home may not be so exciting for a while…

After our final dinner in Livingstone tonight we sat down to talk about the reality of what we have seen in Africa in the last ten days and what our response might be as we begin to prepare to come home…we will finish that conversation tomorrow, but there was an air of heaviness and tension as we discussed what we have and even our struggles these last two days staying at a nice resort, eating lunch at a gorgeous safari lodge, seeing sex workers at the border as hundreds of trucks wait to clear customs, and still having so many scenes of our friends and their needs in Kakolo Village and the villages right next to our accommodations be so fresh in our minds…I have discovered over the years that coming and having my heart moved in Africa creates this deep tension about what life ought to look like for both me and those who live here…there is almost a fear in coming home because you know you must live somewhat differently if you are to honor the trip and God’s work in your heart and life…and we often don’t know what that might mean…and yet I see that there is such great growth in this journey as we seek to bridge these two worlds and the people God loves so deeply in both spots…as you pray for us between now and Sunday afternoon would you pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to speak and that in community we can wisely help one another pursue God’s call both now and in the days and months to come as followers of Jesus who love and want the world to know Him and experience life in all the fullness He has designed for it…

Africa has once again touched us deeply and we are forever grateful that God invited us to join Him here this last week and a half…

We are so anxious to see you Sunday afternoon at O’Hare!!

On the journey home and to a deeper life with Jesus and commitment to His Kingdom work with your students…CHIP