Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Africa {part 1}

Where do I start?
It is not that I have forgotten anything, on the contrary, I have so many memories that I do not know where to begin.

I left on Thursday, July 30th, and met up with my other 35 team members. Some at the OKC airport, and others at Dulles, Washington DC. We traveled for two days, and it felt like it. Time did NOT fly, I got so bored on those planes. I did enjoy the actual traveling part; getting stamps in my passport, walking through the airports with purpose, and of course taking off :). We were delayed some along the way, so we did not arrive in Mombasa, Kenya until 2 a.m. local time, Saturday August 1st. At that point I was so exhausted that I didn't even really 'see' where I was, or notice my surroundings at all. Megan and I just got our room key and fell into bed. Were we in for a surprise the next morning........


I woke up to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, and thought for sure that I was dreaming, and when I opened my curtains....I KNEW that I was dreaming. The ocean was right outside our door!!! And it was a beautiful ocean, different shades of gorgeous blue, white sands, puffy white clouds in the sky. It was perfect, I asked Megan if we were in the right place, if this was a mission trip?!?!?


My view :)






The next two days the team had meetings and organized things for the Pastor's conference, of course it wasn't all work :). Took some walks on the beach, swam in the AMAZING pool, and played some basketball. But before you all sign up for next year let me tell you that it was about to get REALLY intense........




Monday we started registering 250 pastors plus their wives. That was fun, I helped write out name tags, and really enjoyed meeting these men and women. They were so friendly, and just happy to be there. After they were registered we all gathered in the auditorium and had a worship service. And I mean WORSHIP!!! It was mind blowing, their singing, their faces, their joy, their prayers, everything......I could barely take it all in, well I couldn't take it all in. I remember sitting in the back of the bus on the way back, completely overwhelmed by all that I had just experienced. What I didn't know, was that it was just beginning.



That night Megan, Sarah and I stayed up pretty late writing out our testimonies for the next day. Three days of the conference the young people went to a different school and talked to the kids. Tuesday was the first day, which just happened to be my birthday, and I was sooooo nervous. I had a relatively easy thing to talk about, forgiveness, but I was scared. I think it was just fear of the unknown, here I was in a different country, on my bday, away from my family, with strangers, about to get up in front of 80 kids, having to talk through an interpreter, not knowing if they would 'get' what I was saying or not. God is good, and I survived. And I learned a lesson, its not all about me. It wasn't about me saying some profound, life-changing words. It is about those kids knowing the love of Jesus, and experiencing it in their lives.



On Thursday I didn't go out with everyone else, I stayed at the conference to help tape the teaching sessions, (and the whole taping/duplicating process is a WHOLE other story, ask me about it sometime....it got pretty crazy lol). Anyway, I stayed, and had a blast playing with some of the Pastor's kids. They were SO much fun, and I was just struck by how kids from Africa are no different than kids from America.


This is Joseph, Mary, and Shalom






Friday was the last day of the conference, I really enjoyed seeing those Pastor's everyday, and don't tell them, but I had a few favorites :)

I'm going to save the rest for another post, so check back. I'll try to post at least every week until the whole 'story' is told.

be free
~noel~

1 comment:

Whitney said...

I have heard a lot of that, but reading it sent chills down my body. That is soooo cool! I am very glad you had so much fun, it makes me wish I could have gone. I am looking forward to the next few posts :)