18 December 2008

i need africa

mocha club has launched a new platform called

"I need Africa more than Africa needs me"

the basics: (this is written on the inside of each tee)
"When I think of Africa, the following images immediately come to mind: Starvation. AIDS. Child soldiers. Genocide. Sex slaves. Orphans. From there, my thoughts naturally turn to how I can help, how I can make a difference. "I am needed here," I think. "They have so little, and I have so much." It's true, there are great tragedies playing out in Africa everyday. There is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe. But what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many Africans face with the joy I see in those same people. It's a joy that comes from somewhere I cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day.

The images spilling out of my television showed circumstances that could seemingly only equal misery, and I was fooled. I bought into the lie that circumstance defines happiness. The truth is, in Africa I find hearts full of victory, indomitable spirits. In places where despair should thrive, instead I find adults dancing and singing, and children playing soccer with a ball crafted of tied up trash. Instead of payback, I find grace. Here, weekend getaways are not options to provide relief from the pains of daily life. Relationships and faith provide joy. Love is sovereign.

My new reality… I know now that my joy should have no regard for my circumstances. I'm ashamed by my lack of faith, but at the very same moment I am excited by my new pursuit. I'm forced to redefine the meaning of having much or having little. I'm uneasy with the prospect of change and of letting go, but just the thought of freedom is liberating. I want what I have learned to trickle down from my head into my heart - I no longer want to need the "next thing" to have joy.

I'm not saying that Africa does not need our efforts. It absolutely does need our partnership. But for me, I've come to understand that I NEED AFRICA MORE THAN AFRICA NEEDS ME. Why? Because it is Africa that has taught me that possessions in my hands will never be as valuable as peace in my heart. I've learned that I don't need what I have and that I have what I need. These are just a few of this continent's many lessons. I came here to serve and yet I've found that I have so much to learn, and Africa, with all its need, has much to teach me."

be sure to check out the video (about half way down the screen) on the website.

[i'm buying a couple of these tees for xmas presents]

also, marisa writes about it here and annie, here.

11 December 2008

wind of change

This is more a season of change than any other. Ok, well maybe not as much of one as getting married, moving to Atlanta, working two jobs, and doing school, but still. Go with me. I'm graduating Saturday, closing the door on a whole chapter of my life that, oddly, Grant wasn't really a (physical) part of. (Shout out to Mason, who's also graduating Saturday--what a rock star.) I'm stepping out into the real world--yuck. Hannah's having/ has had her baby [i wouldn't know b/c i can't see her new blog and that makes my heart very very sad]. Christmas is coming. Jesus is come.

This season of change just brings a lot of newness, uncertainties, expectations, hopes, fears, and a whole lotta waiting around, being patient for everything to work out.

what I want to be prayerful about in the midst of all this change: hannah and aswan's little miracle, a j.o.b. for me, future and further interviews, Christmas time with the fam (actually we'll get to see both, but we'll spend the actual day with mine), Stahler finishing up high school, heidi being far away at Christmas, Coco and Nida working during the holidays, Ashley and Mason tackling a new semester in fla, Zach and Steph being home and together, Maggie starting at UGA and moving into Creswell, little MegaMoo [aka spaghetti] at auburn, Leen and Brandon's engagement as well as Sara and Andrew's, Carrie and Andrew as newly weds over the holidays, Laura who recently had a birthday!, mama and daddy preparing for an empty nest, our small group, our finances, our love. And I've been a little down and out lately, no big, just feeling a little left out of things. What things? idk. life. I think it's just the changing of the seasons, but pray for my little heart. All in all things are good and we are thankful. "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Ps 126:3.

ps. "wind of change," if you didn't catch that in the title, is the name of a sweet sweet 80's monster ballad. it rocks. you should check it out if you're into that.