Thursday, August 16, 2007

He's Home!


Well, I'm late posting today because I've been so busy with my son returning from Africa.

He had such a wonderful trip. The word he keeps using over and over is "incredible." He loved the people, the scenery, the fun with the other members of the mission team, and the adventure of traveling to the other side of the world. And I think he's looking at his own life through different eyes now.

I couldn't begin to tell all the experience he told us about. He talked for hours until he dropped off from jet lag (and the fact that he talked through what was normally his nighttime because of the 7-hour time change). He shared a good many handmade souvenirs he brought home. I received a woven purse that I love! He bought his brother a stringed instrument (I can't remember what it's called). And my daughter got a necklace that's made out of tightly wrapped magazine pages that are varnished and look like beautiful beads. He brought my husband a piece of artwork that's framed in woven grasses. The artwork is done with bits of leaves and grasses.

One thing that was so cute was that he and friend had taken brand new NASCAR tee-shirts with them. My son traded his tee-shirt for a hand-carved soapstone nativity set. It's absolutely gorgeous, and the man he traded with loved the shirt so much they saw him wearing it for the next few days. :) My son's pride and joy is a chess set he bought. The pieces are carved out of soapstone, and the board is, I believe, made of the same. It's beautiful.

Also, he came home and told his dad that he hadn't made it back with the safari hat he'd borrowed from him. One of the little boys who attended Vacation Bible School fell in love with it, so he let him keep it. Another fun thing he did was climb trees. He said all he had to do was climb up in a tree, and within minutes 20-30 kids would be zipping up higher than him having a great time playing. They also really enjoyed taking the kids a real soccer ball. The kids were great soccer players, and absolutely loved having an actual ball.

Of course, they took mosquito nets and shoes to them as well, but it was the more playful things that made an impression on the children. He said they loved to color with crayons and markers more than anything. Even the adult helpers could spend an hour coloring. It's amazing what all we take for granted in our country, when I think of all the crayons we've lost or thrown away!

At the end of their trip, they paid their own way (not mission trip money) on a safari. You can see where they stayed at olaresafaricamp.com. They stayed in permanent tents, and could look out the windows to see giraffes and such. As they left the camp to head back to Nairobi, they got within feet of cheetahs, a rare sight. And of course they saw elephants and many other animals. He said it was awesome.

I'm so glad to have my son home. He's well, happy, and hoping to go back again someday. I'm hoping that the next time will be easier on my nerves and my stomach! LOL But I'm thinking that if he wants to do it, if he feels God leading him to do it, then I'll let him go again.

And yes, I did cry when he got off the church bus once they arrived back in town. He just laughed at me as if he couldn't believe it. :)

I'll see if I can post photos later at my personal blog. I can't wait to see them!

Missy

7 comments:

  1. Oh Missy, I know that not only are you releaved to have him home, you are proud of him. It sounds like he has a real heart for children. I can relate as my youngest daughter is the same way. Who knows what God has planned for these children of ours. While it may be nerve-racking, I can't wait to find out.

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  2. Awww, I'm glad he had a great trip! I enjoyed reading about the gifts he brought you guys. I think it's interesting that the kids, even adults, enjoyed the crayons and markers.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thanks for all the prayers while he was traveling!

    Yes, Mindy, I can't wait to see what they do when they "grow up." :)

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  4. Missy, Thanks for writing about Nick's trip. I want to hear more. I hope he's planning to do some speaking because people just love to hear about this kind of mission work.

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  5. Missy, thanks for the neat details of Nick's trip. I'm glad he had a wonderful time. I'm sure he was a positive influence in the lives of the children.

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  6. Thanks for stopping by, Janet and mary. I think the group will do a program at church with all their photos and such. I can't wait to hear everyone else's take on the trip.

    Missy

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  7. Missy,
    Great stories--and like Christy said, I loved hearing about the gifts he brought home.
    I know you are happy to have him home. Great photo!

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