This has not been the trip I expected. But it has been the trip I deserved. What that means is I have been sick from the moment we have landed. Unable to hold down any food and unable to eat the dinners for the first few days. I tried to tough it out. Until I finally had to wave the white flag. Take my Zpac. Rest and recuperate for a day. And that was the last thing I wanted to do.
The reason this is the trip I have deserved does not come from the sickness, but I have been closed off to My Savior for a long time. Not in the sense that I don’t want to be in a relationship with Jesus. But that I haven’t felt the need for Him.
During one of our morning devotionals where I was feigning health and positivity, a leader said so simply that on missions trips or in ministry, anything you do over again will not be the same as the first time.
Returning to Ethiopia, I was expecting to be easy-going and care-free when it came to the food and culture of Ethiopia again and instead I feel like some of my teammates probably did last year, sicker than they hoped to be. Naturally tearing up, having to stay behind and watch as the rest of the team left for the day to see beautiful smiles and unwavering love. And where as I didn’t have the compassion for them last year. I do now. But as for God. I do not pass blame or ask for simple healing. I just know that this soon will pass. And pass it did.
More pertinently, the lesson I have learned from my time under the weather here is that I have to turn to Him. In the U.S., I can so easily work out if I feel negatively about my body. I can relax if I feel stressed. I can show affection to my wife (or dog) to feel loved back. But what I was missing was a true healing. A daily healing. Where my sickness is not something I can just lay at home in Bozeman and ease through. This situation has shown me that though God’s plans are firm, they are by no means fun all the time.
I had to rely on prayer that I would be able to spend time with the kids, with the team, and not just in my own sickly confines. My prayers have been answered. I have a week left to pour love and affection into the kids of Bring Love In, my teammates experiencing this place with me, and back into my God.