Monday, July 19, 2010
Yesterday morning, Glady Branch Baptist Church held a service to commemorate our trip to Africa. Members of our group went up to the podium and spoke a few words about what our experience meant to them and how it touched their hearts. Of course it touched my heart as well and I began crying during the service. As my family knows very well, I do not like crying - I don;t cry during movies or funerals or when I get hurt. However, while I was in Africa the kids at the Mercy Care Centre touched my heart dearly and on our final day there, when we presented Alfred with his handmade wheelchair and said goodbye to the children I couldn't stop the tears from pouring. Half our group was also leaving that night to travel back to the states. I had grown close to those members of our group especially and I didn't want to see them leave. I cried for probably 8 hours straight and seeing myself cry made my sister cry because she never sees me cry and knows how important Africa and these kids are to me. And yesterday at the service, as all those emotions came flooding back, I realized how important it is that I travel back to Africa and keep making connections at the Mercy Care Centre. And then Lee Ray asked if I wanted to say something. I already had tears in my eyes and lumps in my throat but I knew that God was calling me to say something to the church that had given me the amazing opportunity to travel on this trip. As I walked up to the podium, I began to think of something to say. I talked briefly about how I never cry but Africa had touched my heart so much that I couldn't help it. When I stepped down, I saw the tears in others' eyes and it made mine come that much more. I will always remember the people in my group and I hope to continue the friendships I made on the trip with my group and with the people of Africa. I now consider Glady Branch Baptist Church my third church for my life - I have my main one when I'm home and one for while I'm at school here in Charlotte. But Glady Branch now has a special place in my heart as well.