The last time I went to Africa, I couldn’t help but cry as the plane took off from Oklahoma City ground. My dream was coming true, I was being lifted into the air and I was overwhelmed with excitement, and no idea what to expect. This time was different. I didn’t cry leaving, I was comfortable, just happy being with my best friend and husband, beyond ready to GO, and I knew exactly what to expect – I was ready to see my son’s face and that’s all I could think about. This time, I couldn’t help but cry as the plane landed on Africa ground. I tried to look through every inch of the little airplane window for a glimpse of him, but of course I would have to wait. “Are you excited?” Chris asked with a big smile. My widest smile and giant tears came rushing… “He’s here,” I told him. Just on the other side of those doors, somewhere not too far, Jamie is here. He’s so close. Closer than he’s been in a year and a half. Any second, we’ll see Jamie IN THE FLESH. Excited hardly covers it.
But more waiting was in store when we got inside because 3 of our bags were missing so we had to file a report and wait. And wait. And one by one, eventually everyone from our flight had collected their bags and was gone from the room. I kept looking at the walls wondering which one Jamie was on the other side of, and I wondered if Pastor thought we didn’t make it, just as I turn and see him walking in with a security guard!! All the Africa in me rushed to the surface and I felt completely home as soon as I saw Pastor Hassan’s face with his big smile! After a big hug he assured me Jamie was with him outside. The next couple minutes seemed like an eternity!! We finally get our bags and make our way through the door to daylight, people everywhere – I’m looking left and right so fast and frantic, I can hardly breathe until I see this blur of red running and a voice, THAT voice yelling, “MOM! MOM!! MOM!!!” I dropped my bags and ran so fast to that blur among the crowd until we crashed and he was in my arms!! MY JAMIE IN MY ARMS!!! I held him so tight and he held me even tighter. I had waited so long SO LONG!! My sweet son had his mom back, and he was crying and I felt his long waiting for me just looking into his eyes of suffering and happiness, and he was beautiful and perfect and mine. And then, he got to meet his father – OH MY LORD. YEP, I was just a big mom mess of emotion, people probably thought I was some crazy white woman but I didn’t even think or notice anyone or anything else. We were with our son, TOGETHER. Nothing else mattered.
Samuel met us, precious one that listened to Summer’s ipod and played the same worship song about a million times on my last trip. Several men helped us with our bags and we rode the ferry to Freetown – AFTER a LONG wait for the President of Sierra Leone and his entourage of many, many, many vehicles loaded – and THEN we set out only to turn around and come back because the ferry had some engine troubles, AND THEN we waited and waited more for the President to be unloaded with all of those vehicles AGAIN, AND THEN wait for the next ferry and the rushing crowd to make their way on. All of this while the sun is setting on the water, and Jamie hasn’t stopped holding Chris’ hand, and I don’t even care how long this takes. I’m with my guys, right where I’m supposed to be, nowhere else I’d rather be and I am happy.
We finally made our way across on the ferry, and I told Chris that this is exactly what to expect in Africa. INCONVENIENCE. Anytime you make a trip to do anything, a world of things can happen and there is no getting anywhere fast, which is why I prefer to not go anywhere but sit at the orphanage all day every day, lol. I wish 🙂 While on our way, Pastor and Chris talked and talked and I knew God brought my husband here, not only for Jamie, and all the other kids that would fall in love with him, but also for Pastor. Pastor asked Chris to preach on Sunday… and a world of prayers were answered in that moment. Just last week we had been laying in bed and Chris was sharing with me his heart to be used and asking God why – even though he has been asked to go to different churches and opportunities – has there not been a peace or a place and people for him to lead and love through his gifts. The welling up of my husband’s passion for people and the ministry in him was bubbling over and he was at peace, but also READY. And now, here, in Africa, God would answer that prayer in the most beautiful ways. I could not wait. Except for him sharing at Camp Fusion, I am married to a pastor that I’ve never heard preach! Of course it would be in Africa. ❤ Pastor drove us to the girls orphanage, it was late and dark and we were weary from days of traveling. This time it wasn’t the boys, but the girls that carried our 50lb bags on their heads up the hill to the boys orphanage where we would be staying.
This time it was raining season, of course.
And this time those bags were full of stuff FOR THEM.