i think you can all safely agree with me that he is a keeper, yeah? :)
a couple days ago, jeff and i were skyping
a rare treat here in this cute little jungle i live in
i was telling him i think i understand better
what it is like to be a missionary.
ive realized that the hardest things in life turn into
the greatest blessings and opportunities.
there are higher highs and lower lows.
living in africa is no picnic to begin with
africa without the love of your life to protect you-
even less of a picnic
not sure why i chose to come to the heart of africa
for my first out of country experience, but i did.
there have been many many struggles
however, there have been a few moments
even fleeting moments
that have made it all worth it
each individual moment on its own
has easily made up for all the sacrifices ive made since being here.
- we went to a village to do a needs assessment and the children were so grateful that they sang us a choreographed song called "we are very glad to receive you". heart strings- pulled.
- driving up on a boda boda to lweza primary school where i spend a lot of my time on a project. all the kids were outside for break. they saw us and started cheering and yelling joyous yells. some were even yelling "kerri, kerri! hi!". when we (me and 2 other volunteers) got off our boda bodas, we were swarmed by hundreds of children. i felt like a famous person rolling onto the red carpet. it was definitely a 'worth it' experience.
- i taught a lesson to some teachers about how to be better parents (because i am obviously SO experienced in that area....haha). afterward one lady shook my hand with a look of pure gratitude. she said 'thank you so much for your good words. they will help'.
- the moments when grown men and women are humble enough to ask ME for advice. even though i am younger and less experienced- they are more worried about how to help others in the best way possible so they ask me for advice.
- visiting a small orphanage. hearing the heartbreaking stories of the children. immediately pulling one of them close to me and cuddling with him. the smile he gives me when i leave that makes me feel like we connected and i helped him feel loved....if that aint a 'worth it' moment, i dont know what is.
- talking with the foster parents of these children. they sacrifice everything for these children who they really have no real responsibility for. they devote their lives to children who had nothing before. inspiring.
- right before i was about to leave lweza primary school these two girls who i have spent a lot of time with, rebecca and mary, came up and gave me notes that they had written.
said things like:
'Eri (Kerri), i love you more than i love my self.'
'Eri, my heart will be in your marriage and wedding. i cannot come but my heart will always be with you'
'Eri, you mean very many things to me and i am finding myself very happy that we are friends'
worth it moment? YES. that was so touching, and it was so great to feel like i have helped them- even if it is in a small way.
there have been many 'worth it' moments.
when you are doing HARD things,
keeping track of these moments
makes it a lot less hard