Written by Blanca

It’s pretty much guaranteed that upon returning from any sort of trip, the first question out of everyone’s mouth is “How was your trip?” Don’t get me wrong… I’ve been guilty of this plenty of times as well! It’s hard because people really want to know how my trip went. And I really want to tell them. But 90% of the time, the situation that surrounds the conversation doesn’t really allow the right amount of time to fully and accurately answer that question. Instead, it allows more like a 30-second response, which is most often, “It was great!” or “It was encouraging!” or “I’m really tired, but it was definitely worth it!” Or, in moments where I have a little more time to answer, my brain is still suffering enough from jet lag that I have a hard time even remembering what day of the week it is, let alone going into detail about the things I learned and experienced the past two weeks.

So, right now, my “short answer” to that question is that the trip was indeed amazing. God is doing some amazing things in South Africa and Zimbabwe through some amazing people. BUT…there is still much more that needs to be done!

Honestly, I kind of went into this trip hoping to find answers to questions that I had regarding H.E.L.P.’s role and my personal role in caring for orphans in Africa. However, I think I came back with more questions than answers. 🙂 But that’s actually encouraging! Why is that encouraging? Well, because I feel like these past two weeks, God has further confirmed and convicted my heart that He wants H.E.L.P. and He wants me to be involved in the work He is doing in Africa. These questions only mean that we’re really trying to figure things out, and sort out how and when and why we should get involved.

What does caring for orphans look like – in South Africa, in Zimbabwe, in Uganda, in Ethiopia….? How can churches get involved – churches in Africa as well as churches around the globe? How can we partner with people that would still continue their work with or without H.E.L.P.? How can we encourage and empower Africa to care for their own orphaned and vulnerable children? The list goes on…

There’s still lots I need to process, and lots of conversations that need to continue… but one thing I do know is that I have complete peace knowing that I’m moving in the right direction. I love H.E.L.P. and the vision and mission that Chris has for this organization. I can’t wait to keep moving forward on this journey with this incredible tribe of people, and one day (soon, hopefully!) sacrifice all that God has blessed me with here in America to join those on the ground in Africa serving and fighting and living each day devoted to caring for the fatherless.

I’m sure it will be hard to leave the comforts and freedoms that my country provides! But the indescribable feelings I had while in Africa were more than enough to convince me that God wants me there. And that peace that He has given me totally trumps any fears or doubts or selfishness that creeps in.

I’m still working on organizing and editing my photos from the trip… There are tons to go through! But here are a few to tide you over until my next post. 🙂

The Team: Chris, Necole, John, Emily, Me and Sherry

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I love Baobab Trees!!!

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Here are some pics from South Africa…

A group of Bontebok hanging out in the middle of the avocado farm we stayed at.

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We took a trip to some vineyards near Cape Town. Seriously, could this place be any more beautiful?

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Taken from the top of Table Mountain:

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Yes, these are penguins…in Africa.

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Baboons!!

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