#tbt Once Upon A Time I went to Africa

Alex and I were pretty lucky to take the trip of a lifetime in 2011. We joined several others from our church and flew across the globe on a mission trip to Zambia.

alex n tanya Africa 2011 007

We spent two weeks in a small village working at an orphan care facility. Along the way we also took a day trip to Victoria Falls and a safari through Chobe National Park.

alex n tanya Africa 2011 009

Alex and I began 2011 passionate about missions and following Jesus. Leaving Africa I was struck with confusion about missions and what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ. It is hard to enter Africa with American eyes. I didn’t understand how I could help. Or if my help was even needed. That year we embarked on a journey to help decipher what God was calling us to.

alex n tanya Africa 2011 056

We joined up with Christian Associates, a mission sending organization, and completed the interview process to begin training as missionaries. We also began planning our return to Africa for the following summer. I felt the need to spend more time in the village to help me understand a true meaning to mission work. I wanted to dig deeper into the needs of the community and find tangible ways to help without hurting.

alex n tanya Africa 2011 045

We were stopped in our tracks when in March we discovered I was pregnant with Eleanor. My pregnancy was difficult and we put everything on hold while we settled back in to life here. Since then, I feel like there is a gaping hole where my passion for missions use to exist. I have tried to fill it with various volunteer or activist roles but I am still questioning the purpose of mission. While reading books like When Helping Hurts or Toxic Charity, I feel understood. Even validated in my thoughts. But I’m still left wondering what to do about it. I can’t help but want to help. I think that is my nature. But deciding how to help is difficult.

alex n tanya Africa 2011 022Have you been on a missions trip? Long or short term? Was it a fulfilling experience or did it leave you torn between two worlds like me?

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