Hey there friends! I have been thinking about africa a little and what I gained out of it. So much good was accomplished in me. So much God did through me and so many others. The blind saw, the deaf heard, and the lame walked. And that wasn't even the best part! God took me into His heart and showed me around more than He ever had before. Or maybe I was just finally focused fully on Him without distraction. Either way, He gave me a glimpse of eternity. There is a bigger picture you know. Bigger than just living day today with no end in mind. There is another world coming. Another kingdom. And God showed it to me.
It is a kingdom where the least of these our brothers are honored above everyone. Where those trying so hard to be first and best are last. we are one big family. God showed me that once I really begin to see all people as family, it will be impossible to give up on them or write them off. I learned that loving others deeply from the heart is a miracle greater than raising the dead. I learned that humility and preferring others to ourselves brings the kingdom here to earth quicker than anything. Perhaps the most beautiful truth my heart grasped was that however I treat the least of these my brothers, that is exactly how I treat Jesus. God wants me to look in their eyes and see my Jesus.
It wasn't (and still isn't) easy to really live these truths out, but it is the only life worth living. It's the only way to keep our souls intact. Taking care of the poor and the oppressed is not negotiable. It's not for those with a special calling. It is for believers period. Nothing upsets the heart of our Father more than when people are oppressed, mistreated, or ignored while we look the other way and stay in our bubble. If you don't believe me, then read the prophets. God is passionate about bringing His world into ours. He is looking for laid-down lovers who will search His heart and find out what they can do to bring heaven to earth. Ok, I am off my soapbox(for now) concerning taking care of the poor.
One last thing. this was much more personal. Most of you know that my wonderful mother passed away last year in august. My heart still feels the glaring absence of her presence. Everyone who knew her loved her. However, in Africa on my birthday, God did something very special for me. He brought my mom to me in a vision. My eyes were closed but I saw it as clear as when my eyes are open. Her and Jesus were talking about me. Telling each other how proud they were of me and how precious I was to them both. I saw my mom fully resurrected and in glory. She was pure light and it took my eyes some adjusting before I could look directly at her. She told me that I was pure light also but that I just couldn't see it yet. She had all her dark brown hair back and her face was smooth and wrinkle free. All her muscle mass had returned to her and her contagious joy and laughter were in full force. Cancer will never touch her again. It holds no weight in God's world. It is powerless. There was much that was said between us, some with words. But it was so beautiful. Only our Father in heaven could think of such a perfect gift for His son having His first birthday without his mom.
So this is a short synopsis of what I learned and what happened in Africa. God is amazing and He is breathing new life into everything and everyone. I want to thank everyone who prayed for me, gave me finances, and offered me their friendship and support. You guys are truly amazing. I leave you with one last thought. Jesus is not reserving the miraculous for overseas. He is just as able and ready to do the miraculous here in America. The question is are we willing to give up our agendas, our control of our life, and our wonderful image, and depend fully on the Holy Spirit for everything? God searches the whole earth looking for those whose heart will be loyal to Him alone. Be blessed!
Danny Randall, Iris Harvest School of Missions Student, 2010