I write this post on the plane back to Indianapolis from Detroit. We have already been flying the last 20 hours, so you would think the short jog from Detroit wouldn’t be a bother. Even so, our group is eager to get home to our families and friends, including our church family at TPCC.
Traveling back to the USA has been quite an experience. Flying for hours seated beside people who don’t speak your language; struggling to digest the various images (both of startling poverty and wondrous creation) from this trip; yearning for the familiarity of our home country; and the greetings from our fellow countrymen as we passed through customs in Detroit.
This trip reminded me of the Foreigners sermon series recently preached at TPCC. (If you haven’t heard it yet, jump over to the podcast – it’s great!). As an American, it is easy for me to claim the daily luxuries that we enjoy (electricity, toilets, clean water, public safety – I could go on and on…) are “daily needs” not wants.
In reality, our lives are overwhelmingly blessed – even the poor of our communities are considered very wealthy by international standards. Jesus taught us to pray for “our daily bread” and I have been convicted on this trip about how often I distort my fleshy desires into “needs.” Watching little Bondeni children eat their two small meals of daily bread helped me understand what that phrase really means.
But the disparity in physical possessions between the USA and Kenya was not the key to this trip. This mission trip impacted me most through the transformation of my mind. The Bondeni people (and the missionaries who serve them) are wonderful people who go without many things, but are so cheerful nonetheless. And worship among believers who have so little, (but worship God so deeply) was amazing. Following this Kenya experience, I am more discerning regarding whether my own actions are focused on the physical things in this life or if I am sincerely focused on God’s plan for my life and the things eternal.
We have now landed in Indy and it’s great to be back. We will have a few more posts to the blog (including an update on Julie Smith’s work with CMF and the team’s highlights from safari) but for now we say kwaheri (goodbye) from Kenya.