It is with mixed feelings we all leave Livingstone today. We have created unforgettable memories, lasting friendships, a profound sense of accomplishment and a new respect and compassion for the many needs of Africa's people. 11 days is hardly long enough in one sense to have really accomplished much. In comparison to what needs to be done for children, orphans and widows, there is an almost insurmountable need here. Hopefully we can adequately tell the story when we return.
The other day, as we were saying goodbye to Winnie Takema, the director of Healing Place School, she read for us a passage from James 1 that reads "pure and undefiled religion is this: that you visit the widows and orphans and care for them in their need." She said "this is what you have done. We cannot thank God enough for you."
We sometimes think our actions have to be grand and our accomplishments significant in order to be worthwhile. Yet a few days of work, of sharing with children, of giving clothes, school supplies and food - while pretty small in our estimation - means so much to those whose daily existence is subsistence at best. Did we do all we could? I will ponder that question for some time to come? I am sure we could have done more. Was it worth it all? You'd have to ask the children and teachers in Kabanana. WOuld I go again? Absolutely? Did I grow and mature? Without a doubt.
That is what Africa does to a person. It casts you back to basic assumptions about life and meaning. It strips away the pretense and the haughty attitudes. It humbles you by its grandeur, mystery, beauty, primitive naturalness.Most of all it reminds you that God loves all the people of the world.
So we sadly say goodbye.We are anxious to return home but will always carry the sights sounds and people of this land in our hearts. I hope you will as well.
See you soon in the US.