Wednesday, April 07, 2010

One last Congo post

I wanted to share one last post about my trip to Congo, reflecting on it, how I felt about it and how it changed me.

Whenever anyone has asked me how the trip was, I have been answering with words like "great", "amazing" and "wonderful." Because it was. And somehow, being back home makes me forget about the days when I felt sick, how poorly I slept and how incredibly hot it was there. And I think that's good, because on the whole, I'd much rather remember the incredible experience that it was-- one I'll never forget.

I made a layout on the afternoon of our Congo night at Westside, on March 28th. I summarized some of my feelings on it, and then shared something similar that night in front of my church family and friends.

Here's the layout:

And here's the journaling:

"I think when I first said that I would go with the church team to the Congo,
a lot of people were surprised by my announcement. After all, there were many reasons why it would be much more sensible for me to stay home: I have three young children, it’s an unsafe country, my decision to go created friction with my mom, the cost, I was the only woman going, etc.

And I agree that my decision to go was definitely not the safest or easiest choice.

However, I learned long ago, that following Jesus means saying yes to what He asks me to do. And I know that when I don’t say yes to Jesus, I am disappointed later by my choice to not obey. I’ve also learned from past experiences that when I say yes to Him & His will, He blesses me.

And this is exactly what happened for me in the Congo.

He blessed me in so many ways—with new friendships, both in the Congo & with the members of my team, with new experiences, with the opportunity to see another part of this amazing world that He’s created and with the opportunity to serve Him through serving others. Before I went, I didn’t fully comprehend how, in being the team translator, I would be serving my fellow team members. It wasn’t until we got there that I understood how important this job was. I got a lot of joy in doing this for our team and for God.

So, going to the Congo was definitely a wonderfully, positive experience for me, and if God asked me to return, I would definitely say yes. Again."

Thanks for looking!


Anne Krashel said...

Wow, what an amazing trip Leigh. I'm happy that you're glad you decided to go.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

Cari said...

This is beautiful Leigh.
Love your journaling and story behind it all.

valerie said...

Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. Awesome.