Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hope & Emelia

Greetings from South Africa (6 hrs ahead from the time in PA)....

80 degrees out, beautiful sky when we landed.sor

Bozzo and i arrived safe and sound. Our plane spent about 2 hrs on the plane (at the gate) in DC, as there was a fire in the baggage area. Not all the bags got on that were supposed to. The area had to be evacuated, so the planes at Dulles had to wait until they were able to return to their jobs. But let me be clear...NO FIRE near our plane. :)

Good flight for both of us. I slept about 12-13 hrs and Bozzo also slept well. We weren't together, so I wasn't sure how long he got in. Overall the toughest thing was how tired we both were. It was good cause we could sleep, but its tough to be really tired and bounce around a lot, waking up to someone running into you with a cart or a woman dropping something on your head by accident. It was AMAZING to see the Lockwoods after a long flight. They are good friends of mine who were in Zimbabwe for 6 years and are supported by WSEFC, the church I attend.  Nothing like old friends. We'll be staying with them until MOnday morning. We depart at 9:05 AM for Zimbabwe.

A couple of reflections. I was VERY frustrated as I was waiting to board our flight in DC. Full of anxiety. I was going away for 2 more weeks and my mind wasn't ready to see so much pain again and I just left my fiancee (again) at the airport. Well... anyway... I started to write in my journal once we took off.  I really want to do that more often this trip. I have a tendency to get too busy and write a couple times a week. So, as I was writing about hope and anxiety, I discovered a couple things. 1) I still struggle with how to process pain because so few of my friends in the USA can relate to the painful side of working with orphans and leaders; 2) I get anxious about my trips when I forget to put my hope in Jesus.

The woman sitting next to me was asleep while I was writing. After I finished writing about desiring to learn more about how to do these things better and the need to rely on Jesus, I slept. When I woke up, Emelia (the woman next to me) was there smiling. We started talking.  It turns out she is the Chief Executive for United Way in South Africa, based in Cape Town. She and I proceeded to have an amazing conversation for an hour on hope, faith, and processing pain. She brought it up and said that she is looking to mentor young professionals working in the field. A Christian to boot. It was amazing and a refreshing gift from God.

Emelia inspired me with her story of 30+ years of service and her reflections that she has just recently learned about putting your hope in God and letting that pour out of you for the benefit of others. She also spoke of the need to do little things well and not get lost in the numbers of international development. 

Be inspired. God sees us. Knows us. and loves us all. That's all for now. I really need to sleep (again). Plane sleep is sleep, but isn't rest. I'll try to text or email from the airport before getting on. This trip, look for stories about people that we find along the way. Bozzo is sound asleep now. He's ahead in the sleep department now, so I have to go catch up. Night all.

Pray for us. And put your hope in God.


Note from Ryan Keith
Forgotten Voices International

Office: 717.506.0633
Cell: 717.649.0667


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