toto and i have tons in common. he blessed the rains down in africa and i'm flying out to see those rains first hand in nine days. he... um... well... i guess we just have the one thing in common at the moment, but you get my point.
everyone keeps asking me if i'm excited about this trip and i'm sure that's what i would be asking anyone i knew who was about to go to africa for the first time in their lives and realize a dream they didn't really expect would ever come to fruition... so, yes, to answer your question, i'm excited. but i don't have a whole lot of other things to say about it yet.
i'm not really nervous about getting sick or hurt or scared. i know it will be overwhelming to see the poverty, but i think it will be just as overwhelming to see how tightly the believers there cling to Jesus (especially as compared to myself). petikei will be in full force, so i'm definitely not worried about a shortage of laughter or things to talk about. people have come out of the woodworks to help support this endeavor, so i know our team will be covered in prayer and lifted up daily, which is such a comfort, i can't even tell you.
sounds like i'm in pretty good shape, right? i'd like to think so. i'd like to think that this will be 11 days out of my life i will look back on and be so grateful for, knowing i was able to see and do things i never thought i would in a land completely out of my comfort zone, and then return home and go on about my life, tucking those memories away and pulling them out on rainy days when i need perspective on this/that.
but then i remember the way i felt the first time (and every time since) i watched this:
about a month ago matt carter preached on the importance of "going." it was a short sermon that focussed on the great commission and Jesus calling us his witnesses, responsible for going out into the world and making disciples. he painted a picture of Jesus conquering death and appearing to the disciples and the thought process those men must have gone through. they had been by His side constantly for three whole years... seeing all the crazy things they saw... listening to Him talk about death and life and heaven and hell and the Father and the Holy Spirit and i'm sure more than once they thought to themselves: "that's coconuts!" but the second He appeared to them, after they had all watched Him die the way that He did... it. all. clicked. everything He had said was true. it all made complete sense. and the last thing Jesus told them was to go... and so they went. what other response could they possibly give? matt said it all boils down to two questions: is He who He says He is? and if so, is He worthy of my everything? then he played the #35 and #36 video.
[that was a quick paraphrase of matt's sermon... you should really, really podcast it... austin stone audio sermon from october 3, 2010.]
as much as i'd like to think i'll go to rwanda and come back and be the same cankle i was before, i fully realize that will hardly be the case. this is much more than a mission trip. it's time for me to go. and i can't wait.
one of my bff's (petikei) & i started this because no one ever told us what life was really like & when we discovered the "real world" for ourselves, we quickly learned to laugh rather than cry when things didn't necessarily go our way. we thought we could pass along some funny stories & such because some of this is just too good to keep to ourselves. now i (cankle) am embarking on the biggest life surprise of all: moving from austin to new york city! so stayed tuned as we all know i'm bound to continue to walk into my fair share of wet cement construction sites along the way...