i had someone ask me, "why africa?" today. i wasn't sure how to explain it. she asked why i don't set my sights on someplace closer. someplace easier. someplace a little less remote and a little more safe. maybe that's exactly the reason i chose africa- or more specifically, why africa chose me. because there are lots of people who want to go to places that are close, and cheap, and safe, and feel a whole lot like home. there are far fewer that are willing to tent camp instead of sleep in a guesthouse or hotel, and travel by dugout canoe or flatbed truck rather than by bus or by car.
don't get me wrong- there is nothing less admirable or noble about going to the places that are a little easier to get to, and a lot easier to tolerate. need is need, and people are people, and anywhere you are serving people in need is where you should be. i just feel that the reason god blessed me with single life (ie: no one to answer to or be responsible for) is so i could take his love farther than most are able to go- to reach those "unreachables". that, and africa is just cool. when i am there, i feel fully alive. the more covered in sweat and grime i become, the cleaner and more pure my heart feels. in my exhaustion is stillness and the sense that i am exactly where i should be, doing exactly what i should be doing. there is something so powerful about knowing what god's purpose for your life is. there is a sense of peace and stillness, because the restlessness that goes along with uncertainty is gone. when i am doing my work in the "field", i feel i am doing god's work. i am including a couple of links to videos made by team members on my last two trips- so that maybe you can take a few minutes to stand by my side and see through my eyes, and fully understand "why africa".
click here to see a small snapshot of the work i/we do in kenya- this video was made by jeff alejos, who accompanied both the K2K community team and medical team to kenya the summer of 2010. i led the medical team on behalf of mercy and truth medical missions and Kansas to Kenya (K2K). if you watch long enough, you might see someone you know! :0) (*note- in 4 1/2 clinic days, we saw 1,152 patients)
click here to see video of the trip to malawi- this video was made by christina smaus, one of the amazing KU nursing students that i led to malawi in march of 2011. we partnered with mercy and truth medical missions, and ministry of hope- and assisted both at a crisis nursery (aka AIDS orphanage) as well as with mobile medical clinics to villages who had been cut off from contact with the outside world by the rains for the prior 6 months.