The pilot hits the throttle, the engines begin their throaty rumble, and the tears start. I am pressed into my seat by the acceleration of the airplane and pressed into my thoughts by the sudden weight of emotions surging upward. I really don’t want to cry here and now. I hate crying. But I give in to it as I hear God telling me, “It’s okay to be real here. I created emotion for a reason. Feel it and don’t apologize.”
I honestly don’t know which specific emotion to blame for the tears. We did not spend 10 days serving people in gut-wrenching poverty so it was not compassion. We did not get terribly close to any heart-breaking stories of pain so it was not sadness. I can’t put a name on it, though believe me, I’ve spent some hours trying. Maybe it’s just because it was such an unexpectedly great week I was grieving just because it was at an end, as all good things must come to.
I have 845 photographs and roughly 50 gigs of video footage. I have 9 brightly colored bracelets for my girls, baobab jelly and crepe cookies for my son. I have mosquito bites and 22 more anti-malaria pills to swallow and way too much sand still in my camera bag. And I have so many memories.
I always struggle to put good, clear words on the experience of a project trip. I thought this one might be easier because not only was it full of great stories and fun times, but I could feel all the blog posts already forming in my head throughout the ten days. But then I watch out the window of the plane as the Senegal coast receded into the distance and all the words evaporated.
I’ll get the posts written (today!) because a project trip this good has to be shared, but for now I share the stories in the form that comes most naturally: imagery. The video below gives an overview of the week. Enjoy.
From the Keiters:
Here is where we share our daily experiences of how God is using our life in the US and abroad with EMI to draw us closer and to make Himself known.