But there has also been the thrill of seeing people’s lives change as they started to make good decisions, excitement as people began to understand and respond to the message of Christ and find his blessing, satisfaction as individuals and families gained access to health or education or basic needs that would transform their lives. There has been the privilege of friendships and relationships made across vast cultural divides, the honour of being accepted into a culture so different from my own, the pleasure of watching the carnival of colour and humanity at the local market, or of sitting under the vast starry canopy, drinking tea on a mat in the bush among the cows with Fulani herders. And there have been the many unique opportunities for pure fun and wonder that life in Africa provides.
And there has always been God’s presence. And the more I have walked with him along that path, the more my perspective has changed on what is important in life, and the more I have got to know God in a way I could not have done if I had remained in the UK.
Life is not found in the amount of stuff you can acquire. Nor is it found in getting the highest high. Nor in the honour and comfort the world can bestow. All those things are temporary and fragile. Life is found in abandoning yourself totally to Christ and his way, living for others and not for yourself. In being willing to lose all we can have in this world, we are given a different sort of life – one that flows from the throne of heaven. It is painful to acquire because it is only found through death – the death of the cross. But it is the life that God gives.
That has been my experience. In spite of my failures and inadequacy, God’s faithfulness has been constant and dependable.
[Hat tip: Jesus Creed]