Journey is officially back on U.S soil, and beginning to re-assimilate into American culture. As we continue debriefing, we are processing through the emotions that come with jumping back into the patterns of life at home.
While walking through the airport yesterday, I was quickly reminded of the many differences between US and African culture. As I walked past Starbucks, familiar restaurants, and so many places that just remind me of the comforts of home, I was surprisingly reminded of the simplicity I was called to live in this summer. Typically in these moments, my immediate reaction is to be drawn into guilt and shame. However, yesterday was so very different. I had this understanding that God allowed me to live in simplicity this summer, but is now calling me to rejoice in the comforts of home. He gives me things like my phone, Chickfila, and Starbucks, not because I need them, but rather because He desires to lavish an abundance of blessing and love upon me. So, rather than feeling guilty about all that God has blessed me with, I choose see His blessings for me as gifts. I also choose not to idolize these things or obsess over the material things He’s given me, because I don’t need them and I’m not entitled to them. Why? Because they’re not where my satisfaction lies. My satisfaction is in Jesus, not in the gifts he gives me. More than ever God has taught me that whether my cup is overflowing with His blessings or my vessel has run dry, I will still rejoice because in Him I will find total satisfaction.
Leaving our friends in Africa was also especially difficult, and the reality of being at home has really begun to sink in with everyone on the team. However, we are faithfully reminded that even when we are not united in body, the living and active Spirit of God that dwells in us is the same Spirit that lives within our friends in East Africa. Therefore, even when we are not together, we are united through the Spirit of God alive in us. We rest in the confidence that the relationships we built this summer amongst both our team and our African friends are eternal. We may never be reunited under the same roof here on earth, but when we reach the Kingdom of God, we will once again worship the everlasting, never changing, consistent, and sovereign Lord together.