I still haven’t had enough time to decompress, but yesterday was a good start. As I worshipped, as I spent time with my family, as I sat in a jet-lag induced fugue and just contemplated it all, I began the work of sorting out my emotions. And my principal emotion surprised me. I thought it would be sadness, because I saw and experienced such heart-wrenching things. But it turns out that’s just not the case. Looking back on it all, I am most overwhelmed with a sense of joyful gratitude.
I am thankful to God for giving me this life-changing experience and allowing me to see the world in ways I could never have seen apart from this trip. I am thankful that He has ordered all things, and thus worthy of praise for everything that follows.
I am thankful for my family, who routinely share their husband and father with a church family and don’t even begrudge a two-week absence that included Father’s Day, the anniversary of our daughters arrival, and my grandson’s birthday.
I am thankful for Alissa Cooper and Pastor Victor Sande. I am so impressed by them both, so awed by their self-sacrificing humility and compassion, so inspired by their obedience to God and their consequential joy.
I am thankful for the people of First Baptist Church, who did so much, who gave so much, who went so far beyond any reasonable expectations.
I am thankful for family and friends who supported the Orphans Village. It has to be a pain being my relative or friend, which seems to come with a price tag. But God has filled my cup to overflowing with some of the best, the kindest, the most generous people on the planet. I only wish I could convey how much I love you, how thankful I am for you.
So, I’ll keep working my way through this. I’m sure I’ll have my share of tears as I do. But right now those tears are tears of joy.
Thank you, my Father. Thank you, my family. Thank you, my friends.