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PictureI feel so blessed to have had this experience to go to Africa. I felt “called” to visit and serve in the country of Ethiopia and God guided me though out this adventure. He showed up in every detail, He kept me safe, He kept me healthy, He kept me open to learning from others, He used me to bless His Ethiopian children. He also showed me things about myself that I didn’t know.

During this trip to Africa, I realized how much I live my life ‘feeling good’ because my life is so comfortable. Since returning I’ve been thinking: What really would it be like if I didn’t have all that I have? In America we have everything. Everything. I don’t need to worry about what I will eat, what I will wear, where I will sleep, when I can take a shower, where I will use the restroom, ect. Why do I need God if I have everything?

I know this is a little extreme, but I’m not sure what to do with it. I try to live my life to love God, love others, and serve the world, but am I really doing that? Africa is now over…its weird, I’ve been praying for this trip for so long. Now, I’ve been and I’m back- am I changed? Did I do what God wanted me to do? Did I fulfill the dreams and desires I had of going to Africa?

PictureMy whole motive for going was to serve and see. I wanted to serve in any area that I could and see what God was up to in Africa. I wanted to see what my church has been doing in Ethiopia and be part of the larger purpose that my church has partnered with numerous ministries in ET.

So, while trying to process, I think I accomplished these two things, but I feel like I didn’t have enough time there to really dig into people’s lives.  I served with amazing people, worked alongside Ethiopian men & woman who were truly inspiring, and got to see first hand how big of an impact MPPC is making on this country. I had heard all the great things my church was doing over there, but it didn’t click till I went there. MPPC is helping so many people, giving so much time, money, & other resources to help people in Africa! It is awesome! I am just one of the 200+ people that have been to Ethiopia from MPPC to serve in any way possible.

One area where God is convicting me now is that I was ‘in & out’ so quick in Ethiopia. I only had a short amount of time, which is better than nothing, but I wish I could have been there longer. It was really eye-opening to see another part of God’s world and I will be forever changed by the smiles of the children at the feeding center, but I wanted to really invest in people’s lives and I couldn’t. I knew I was leaving in 9 days.

PictureThis got me thinking about how I live here in the States too. I have thought about this before, but for some reason it took going to Africa to realize that a lot of my relationships are kept at a safe-distance. Safe-distance meaning I don’t get so involved with a friendship and therefore don’t get hurt if it doesn’t work out. I get so busy with day-to-day life that I don’t take a ton of time to invest in the people around me.
  
I think one way God would really really stretch me and grow me would be to have me go on a long-term mission trip. The idea sounds horrible to me, but I think it would grow me so much!!!! I am so use to having everything, living in comfort and doing things with so much ease that I don’t always have to depend on our Heavenly Father in day-to-day situations. I will continue to pray about such a possibility and let you know what the Lord is revealing! I am excited but scared at the same time because it will be stretching and that is not always fun, but always worth it in the end.

Until God allows for that experience to take place where I spend a year or any extended period of time away, I am excited to try and live that way here, in America. I am right where God wants me and I want to live for Him here. I want to spend more time in community and build the relationships I have here to a deeper level!