Monday, January 03, 2011


I don't know what it is, but over the last few days, I've really been missing Swaziland and the sweet babies there...and the older kids and the the teenagers and the grandmothers and the disciplers and...okay, I just miss Swaziland period.

I miss the smiles despite the struggles, the laughs despite the poverty, the dancing despite the lack of shoes, the gratefulness despite the lack. I miss their warm, precious, welcoming hearts. I miss their passion for worshiping Father God despite what the schedule or the clock says. I miss the emphasis they place on relationship and hospitality and fellowship regardless of the busyness around them or the pressing demands of work. I miss children who don't whine, children who are polite, children who are grateful for the food put before them, children who are satisfied with a simple ball made out of plastic bags, children who sweetly put their hand in yours and invite you into their lives and into their hearts.

I miss loving on them. I miss hugging them. I miss holding them. I miss singing songs to them in my struggling siSwati. I miss comforting a child who has no mommy or daddy to go home to. I miss being His hands and feet amidst the dust and thorns and broken rubbish.

I am very, very blessed here in America. I have a nice home and a great family and so many dear friends. I have a very, very good life. It used to be enough.

But it isn't any longer.

Africa, and what God has shown me there, has put a discontent in me that I face nearly every day.

I want to be like Paul who said he had found the way to be content in all circumstances. I want to be at peace while I am here. I want to be content. I want to live fully in today. I am very, very grateful for what God has given me.

But He has also given me a heart for Africa. He has given me a love for Swaziland that leaves a hole in me when I am away from it.

Knowing that we are moving there in three years has helped. Since returning in October from our most recent trip, I've been much more at peace being here because I knew that we were going back one day, and hopefully, taking all the kids there for a short-term trip in 2012 a year or so before we moved.

But that contentment has faded away the last few days. I find myself homesick for my heart's home. I miss Africa. Plain and simple.

And now I find myself not satisfied with waiting til 2012 or 2013. I want to be there now. Or at the least, going there sometime this year.

It is the beginning of a new year, a time that many make resolutions --- maybe they decide to quit smoking or eat healthier.

I'm not making a resolution at this time, but instead I find myself accepting that what I want out of 2011 is another trip to Swaziland. Part of me feels bad that I can't be happy with just waiting til 2012. I feel like an impatient kid that wants to sneak and open their birthday gifts early.

I know all the old adages about good things coming to those who wait.

So, is it so very wrong for me to want a good thing this year, too?

I shared my desire with Danielle Brower, our Bheveni Carepoint Coordinator and the leader of our most recent trip to Africa. Danielle said that God will give me the desires of my heart when my desires are His.

I guess that means I need to pray honestly and fervently that if GOD has placed this desire in me to return to Swaziland in 2011, that He will open the door, make it obvious that He wants me to go, and then will provide in a way that doesn't take away from our family's provision for our 2012 trip. And it also means I need to also pray that if He doesn't want me to go this year, that I will be okay with that. That I will trust Him to use others to love those little ones as they need loving and I will trust Him that our lives are in His hands and He truly does know what's best...even if it doesn't line up with what I would choose.

Love is hard sometimes.

Loving a nation of orphans is one of the most precious things in my life but also one of the most heartbreaking.

Lord, my life is yours. Help me to trust you and wait on you. Help me to love you more than my life. Help me to die to self more and more. Help me to be where You want me to be, when You want me to be, as You want me to be. Help me, Lord.

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