Finally getting around to blogging! I've been back in the country since July 10th, but not really feeling all that great. Africa was amazing, I am not sure if it was amazing in a good way or a bad way. Being around the people and sharing hope with them was wonderful, but it's hard to be positive when you see that much pain. The need there is more than great and I have to admit that I feel overwhelmed. This is my second time coming home from Africa now and I'm having a harder time adjusting back to American culture, which sounds crazy because I wasn't over there for a really long time.
I am really struggling with one of the hardest questions about Christianity, if God is so good then why is there so much suffering? I've heard all the main answers about free-will and how we live in a fallen world, etc. etc. but that doesn't seem to be cutting it for me. I know that they're true and real, but it seems so cruel to see such horrible things happen, especially to children. It's as if some children really don't have a chance, they're born into bad situations, they're sexually or physically abused which leaves residue that affects them for years later. I think all of these thoughts are coming in so forcefully after Africa because over there the suffering is rampant, it is sad everywhere. And I think that I am angry about that. I know that it is not up to me and I know that only the Lord can heal, I believe that. I live by that, it is just hard to see sometimes because the world really is a fallen place full of evil. When Daniel and I were in Rwanda we visited the national genocide memorial and during one of the videos a woman described the population in Rwanda during the genocide as 5% good, 5% neutral, and 90% evil. Can you believe that? 90% evil and lots of the people there believe in Jesus!
I hope this doesn't sound like I am saying anything negative against Jesus, I would never do that because there's nothing negative to say. I know that my perspective is off about this whole thing and I am praying that the Lord will show me the right perspective. It's not God's fault that these things happen, I know that too. I am angry because people let them happen as well, people that are claiming to be following Jesus Christ. I am highly disappointed in Christians, myself included, a lot of Christians won't step outside of their comfort levels to help others. I read a statistic that said Americans alone spend enough money just on Christmas presents in one year for their families to end world hunger, now that seems a bit extreme and I doubt that it is totally valid but I am sure it is an astounding amount of money that could be going to helping those in need. I am angry at how greedy we are. I don't think that anybody I know is in danger of giving away too much. I am trying to give this burdensome thinking over to the Lord because I know that this is not mine to carry and that His heart is broken about this more than mine is.
Short-term missions are so tricky, I am so glad that I went and also so upset when I returned back home. We set up a medical clinic and saw 600 people in 3 days, that is unbelievable. I really saw the Lord move, I witnessed firsthand miracles of healing. People in Africa was so happy that we were there, they truly loved on us. I was so blessed by their love and hospitality, I have never seen anything like it. People that have so little, trying to give us what little they had. I never seen genuine love and joy like that here, okay never is a strong word, but rarely. I wonder why that is. Here are some pictures of the trip. Enjoy!
People waiting in line for the clinic!
Little Abraham, he is so precious.
Little boy waving to the camera.
One of the toddlers from Delightful House.
This is Lily, she truly is an amazing person. She loves everyone she meets.
A little girl waiting in line at the clinic.
Kids in line.
I am not quite sure what she's mad at.
Little girls playing soccer, the little on on the right peed on me during several different encounters.