I fell in love…
I fell in love with Africa.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
When I left on my first mission trip to South Africa, I truly had no idea what to expect. I heard stories of its beauty, the terrain, and the people, but it was not until I experienced it myself that I understood the true beauty Africa has to offer. The most beautiful part is the people. Everyone is filled with joy. This joy stems from relationships and not from materialism. I thought I was going there to serve, evangelize, and aid. Boy was I mistaken!
I did get the chance to do all of these things, but it was what they did for me that forever changed my life. They showed me what true love for our Lord and Savior looks like. Their ability to worship is unlike anything I had ever experienced. These beautiful people allowed the Holy Spirit in. They sang praises, danced for the Lord, and made themselves vulnerable.
This vulnerability was a natural reflex, but something I was unaccustomed too, and to be honest something I was uncomfortable with. So, why was I okay with it in a rural village in South Africa?
I believe in this moment God revealed himself to me in a whole new way, or more precisely I allowed myself to not only be vulnerable with God, but with others. I strive for perfection, as many of us do. And while God appreciates this, he knows that we all fall short. I fall short weekly, daily, hourly. We all do! God loves us, even when we fall short, but it’s also our responsibility to love others just as deeply as he loves us.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
I was thousands of miles away from home, but the God I worshiped in South Africa was no different then the one I worship at home. The only difference in this particular moment was my heart. I fell in love with Africa, I fell in love with the people, and I am anxious to return!