We are thrilled to have Sharon Caughill sharing her thoughts with us in this post. Sharon and her husband Paul have been 58ten community members since 2011, and they will visiting Kenya later this month.
You Cannot Go Back, Except When You Can
Nearly four years ago I traveled to Kenya with minimal expectations. I was extremely excited but had no dreams needing to be fulfilled. No pictures painted in my mind. And I think that was a good thing. I went naively, was forever changed, and have dreamed of going back ever since. God is awesome.
This week as I prepare to go (slightly elated squeal here) I notice a multitude of emotions weaving through my heart. So I caution myself to pack lightly again with minimal expectations. To remember that most of all I want to take along the desire to experience what it is God wants for me. God has a plan.
I cannot wait to fellowship, again, with the faithful servants of God I met there. Yet I ponder how none of us are the same. We have all changed and grown and weathered changes and grown some more. Life never stands still. Because God is always moving.
And there is a girl there I cannot wait to see. When I chose our sweet Kenyan daughter it was through simple pictures hanging on a wall. I searched and prayed walking back and forth along that wall until I stood before her solemn face and knew that God wanted her to be ours. But she isn’t ours. She is God’s. When I met her she was a girl with a shy sweet smile. Now she is a teen. I go expecting her to be different. Wondering how I will be blessed to impact her this time. Or will I? I know she will impact me as will all the others. It is in God’s hands. And that is all right. God is always faithful.
I sigh as I now know how hard it will be to say good-bye when the all too short days are done. I hate that I know this and try to put it from my mind. I could never have prepared myself for that the first time. It was horrible. Now I know. So I try to brace myself, already, that it is only a brief visit. But that, too, can be entrusted to our faithful God. God knows all about hard goodbyes and sorrow and remembering to choose joy.
Our team needs your prayers. We need health and safety and strength and unity and peace. But most of all we need the power of the Holy Spirit burning through us to sit and stand and walk side by side and shoulder to shoulder with God’s choice servants of Kenya. To simply serve. Because that is all he wants. Whether it is here in the US, or the other side of the world in Africa. He wants us to shine and pour out for His glory. And aren’t we blessed that he lets us have a part? God, you are gracious.