I’m not even sure where the time went, but it’s now the middle of April and Africa is less than a month away. I’m so excited to share with you all that my entire team reached the 100% deadline and we can now officially say we’re going to Burkina Faso! I don’t think any of us could tell you how humbled and grateful we are about everyone’s support in helping us raise our funds through donations and prayer. You all have been a huge part in making this trip happen for us. So again, I just have to say, THANK YOU.
Some other news to catch you guys up to speed – this past Saturday was Spring Outreach and our team was privileged to get to spend our afternoon hanging out with a bunch of people from the South Tulsa community. Our team specifically got to run the photo booth, and let me tell you, there are some cute kids in this world. It was such a blessing to just be able to laugh and dance around with the kids.
My team also had the chance to go to the Laura Dester home a few weeks ago, which is personally one of my favorite outreaches that ORU does. This is a home where kids ranging from babies through high school go when their homes have been deemed unfit. Laura Dester is broken up into four different houses: the toddlers, middle schoolers, teenage boys, and teenage girls. I’ll just say it’s hard to go there and not let if affect you. The stories you hear there are not easy stories. The stories are filled with brokenness, neglect, abuse, and a lot of times, a lack of love.
Our team got the opportunity to hug and love on the babies in the toddler house for a few hours. Those are some of the cutest kids you’ll ever see. Every house is equally hard to bear, and the toddler house is no different. These kids have so much joy and happiness, you couldn’t possibly think they’re not getting attention at home. You couldn’t possibly comprehend that they are being abused and taken advantage of. It’s impossible not to laugh with them, and it’s impossible not to hurt for them.
The level of love and respect our team had for each other after doing these outreaches grew tremendously. As my team talked about the outreaches and what was hard and stretching, we were overcome by how much love we have for the hurting. This equal love we shared reflected as how we worked as a team. We all had our roles, and for lack of better words, we all just really clicked together. We left Laura Dester hopeful that what we were going to offer in Burkina Faso would bless the people, and that they would bless us.
In doing these outreaches, one thing that I think our whole team could agree on, is how blessed we really are. It is beyond humbling when you see some of the poorest people in this city with some of the most joyous hearts in this city. You can’t help but fall in love with the smiles and the laughs. There is something so beautiful about coming together and loving on people that may not get any love at all. Because isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t it about loving those who missed out on something we all should’ve been given? Sometimes we can’t change everyone’s situation, but what we can do is love. Let that love emanate out of every part of your life, and you’ll see how contagious it is. My prayer is that Jesus’ love will pour out of my team and me. And as we go over to Burkina Faso, I pray that we may be a light to the darkness.