Wake Up: Part 3 By: Chinua Hawk

So the morning of day two I hurried to get myself together so I could make it downstairs for 5:45 am  prayer time before breakfast. In my mind I wanted to start the day off right fully engaged and present.

This day was all about the kids, we brought bubbles, soccer balls and some much needed food for their pantry.  It seemed like we blew bubbles for hours but the kids just loved it! I admit that because my physical condition was less than stellar it didn’t take much for me to get pretty tired so I would retreat to the van and rest for a bit.  It bothered me a great deal that I couldn’t run with the kids the way I wanted to. Anyway back to the kids. I’ll whine about my own story later.

So while I’m in the van I’m still thinking about the words “just be here.”  I had stopped looking for that huge earth shattering, soul shaking, miracle to appear.  I grabbed one of the soccer balls and started tossing it back and forth with one of the kids and boy did this kid enjoy that. The next thing I knew we had a huge circle with a bunch of other kids and some of my teammates just tossing the ball back and forth. It was so much fun! The funny thing is that in this circle is where I saw God. Of course I know He’d been there all the time but I couldn’t see the forest fore the trees.

I was struck in that circle by how the children would smile when I or one of my teammates would toss the ball to them. They were so happy to be chosen. I was also struck by how attentive they were to each other and made sure that every kid had a turn to toss the ball.  I was reminded that day that God is in EVERYTHING, the small things and the big things.  I saw God in their laughter when they were trying to teach me their names and I kept getting it wrong, something I’d been doing ironically all of my life with others.

The head teacher told one of my teammates that we were a blessing to the children simply because we see them. When I’d heard that I remember thinking that that is what we all want. We all crave to be seen. We all want it known that we are here and we deserve to be acknowledged.  Think about that and then, think about how God sees you!  Think about it the next time you speak to someone without making eye contact if you even speak at all. EVERYONE deserves to be seen!

I never imagined I would care or become as attached to the kids and my team as I did. I find myself looking at the clock imaging what time it is there and what they are doing now. I wonder if there is more food in their pantry or if someone is hurting them. I find myself praying for them at random times.

I came away from this experience with two great lessons.

The first is that, things will not heal brokenness. We all have our temporary fixes for the broken areas in our lives but until we truly surrender these things over to the Father we will never be healed and able to move on past these things. I can’t say that I’m completely sure how to do this but I know I have to keep trying and praying and leaning on God to show me how.

The second lesson has a story behind it so let me tell that first.

The end of my trip was mind blowing! I had the honor of participating in an event called “Litsemba” which means hope. There were I believe 3500 kids from various places at this event including the kids from the school my team and I served. It was kind of like an all day festival for them with food and all kinds of music.

That day I saw what looked like hundreds of kids come to Christ and I was just standing on stage in tears. Here comes the second lesson.

As I’m standing there in tears God revealed to me that It didn’t matter what I thought I was coming to Africa to do. Soccer balls, soap, food, water, medicine, none of that was more important than what I was witnessing. I’m wishing I had millions of dollars to do more for these kids and that was all wrong. Their salvation was last on my list and it should’ve been first.  I cried tears of joy for the one’s that came to Christ and tears of sadness for the one’s that didn’t.

I want you all to know that I’m not telling you these stories because I want to look like a good person, I’m sharing because I want to inspire you to get involved. It doesn’t have to be Africa, there are needs you can fill in your own backyard.  Helping someone else may make your own situation appear less daunting.

I don’t like being hot. I don’t like getting dirty. I detest yard work with a passion and yet here I am wanting to go to Africa again.

God wants to do something AMAZING with your life. Don’t let fear keep you from where God is trying to take you! I’m a witness that God is not going to just drop you off in the middle of chaos and leave you by yourself.

My plan is to definitely go back again. I don’t know for sure that that is Gods plan but I’m hoping it is.

If my stories have touched you and you want to travel to Africa, I suggest going with Heart for Africa.  Check out their site www.heartforafrica.org

They are doing some incredible work so please support them in anyway you can.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and for helping me get to Africa.

Love and Peace,

Chinua Hawk

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