Saturday, July 26, 2008

Crawling Across the Finish Line

Well, we made it. I wouldn't exactly say that we made it all in one piece, but we made it. Dysentery, giardia, salmonella, amoebas, parasites, worms & a host of other ailments added to the casualty list, and I felt a little guilty sending some of our students home in the condition they were in when we touched down on American soil-- but at least it was better than feeling that way in a mud hut.

As for me, I am worn out-- really worn out-- but fairly healthy and extremely grateful for everything God did to get us through. It wasn't until we said goodbye to all our students and began to evaluate the project that we looked at each other and said "Oh my gosh, what did we just do?" I think this whole summer was one tiny faith step at a time, and each step felt right & good & logical-- but getting across to the other side & looking back on the project felt a little like walking across a tight rope across only to realize at the end that it was over Niagara Falls. Okay, maybe a little over-dramatic, but I definitely realized that we took some huge risks, had some potential for disaster, and that God carried us through so faithfully every step of the way.

Chris & I now have a day or two to recuperate before needing to dive back into the daily grind (yuck), and I have to admit that it was a little dizzying to wade through the knee deep pile of mail, bills, magazines & catalogs that were awaiting our arrival. Equally unsettling was opening our drawers and seeing just how much stuff we have-- way, way too much stuff. It felt wrong and gluttonous and wasteful after living in such simplicity (and still being wealthy in comparison) for almost 2 months.

But lest I sound like I am complaining, let me reiterate that I am so, so grateful. I can't believe we made it. I can't believe how well it went. I can't believe the amazing things that happened in our students' lives. It is such a relief (in the best possible way) to look back on it and know that it's over-- that we did it; that we survived this crazy dream that we had and that it all worked out. Yes, I'm jet lagged & suffering from a little culture shock, but I am very, very grateful.

More to come later. For now, I am going to soak in the benefits of Southern California (namely, being spoiled by our parents), and try to slowly untangle this jumble of thoughts & emotions called Africa.

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