This weekend was special. I enjoyed the drive to Arkansas to visit Kelli with my three rowdy girls, Sadie, Hannah, and Emma. We took the scenic route~as always, adding two extra hours to our drive. I love it! i love driving with the windows down, the music loud, and the sun shining in. It was "normal" for my life, I have done this many times. My girls love exploring with me~enjoying the simple. What a blessing.
One thing has changed though, I have visited Ethiopia recently. I kept thinking about my last drive in the country-in Angache, Ethiopia. As i watched the beautiful green rolling hills of Missouri and Arkansas with it's FAT cattle and big barns and clean streams running through the land I could not help but think of Africa. It is difficult to reconcile the two. One-the land of plenty/ the other the land of poverty. Don't get me wrong- Africa is beautiful, but they do not have fat cattle and clean streams. In fact as you drive out to the villages you see children walking along the country roads, carrying large packs of all sorts. Some of these children seem as young as 3 years of age. As our bus sped down these roads you would see a constant flow of walkers, young and old.
I asked someone from our team: "Where are these people going?" The answer varies, some just going for water, some to the nearest city or town to sell things. The way these people work so hard for just the possibility of a small coin for food, or to get water, is staggering. It is almost unbelievable how hard they work.
My drive in the country this past weekend made me think again, how blessed this country is. The US is the land of plenty. Even the poor counties I drove through are lush in everyway. People have vehicles. The land grows all sorts of crops. The water is everywhere..streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, aand I am sure clean water-wells. The farms have BIG animals. The grass is green because of all the rain we have had. The houses and barns are standing tall, maybe not in the best shape, but standing. As Hannah, Sadie and I snapped photos along our journey we posted a few on facebook, while listening to the latest mix on my ipod. All of this seems a little strange to me now. I can't seem to shake the memories of another place, another people..
Today was missions day in our bible study. Faith that Works hosted three amazing young women preparing to go on missions. One to Australia, two to India. As they spoke of their love for the people, the culture, the land I felt overwhelmed. I teared up~I prayed, God, I feel that. I feel those same strong feelings for Ethiopia. I did not expect to have the desire to travel to foreign places and be with people I could not understand. As I reflect on that now, I realize it is from God. He places that desire in our hearts to reach out to the lost, to help strangers in need. That desire is good. I believe it is from God. We see it in the book of ACTS, we understand it as the GREAT COMMISSION. I am happy today, seeing young women that get that..women that are barely out of their childhood and are already counting the cost and have said, "send me, Lord, Here am I." That's fantastic!