Five years ago, I heard a story of child soldiers. Gun powder laced with cocaine, headaches due to lack of killing, mothers losing their sons during the night and girls running for their purity. This is when Africa stole my heart.
Over the next five years, I worked alongside Invisible Children – inviting roadies and planning screenings. The community of Invisible Children never ceases to amazes me – coming together during tragedy and victory, adventure and wanderlust. As much as I love the IC family, and as much as I respect and support and cheer them on, last year I felt God leading my heart in a different direction.
Enter Reagan to Kibera. I never anticipated going – I was just the storyteller. The writing mentor. Just like before, I heard a story. Just like before, my mind found it difficult to understand the truth. Just like before, God knew infinitely more than my own anticipation. Africa was calling me.
This past summer, I traveled with twelve teenagers and eleven adults to Nairobi, Kenya. For two weeks we served in Kibera – one of the world’s largest slums. Suddenly, these stories I heard for the past five years were suddenly my own.
While in Africa, there were moments where I longed for comfort. For toilets instead of holes, paved streets instead of dung-dirt streets filled with trash – I’d lie in bed dreaming of long hot showers, iced mochas and snuggling with Russ. And then I would sit down and look into the eyes of the kids, and suddenly all of my comfort seemed silly.
Now I am back in America trying to get acclimated to my own life. I feel like an outsider. I know life goes on – and soon these experiences will be a sweet memory instead of something that captures every thought. But for now, I’m dwelling in the possibility.
I knew going on this trip would change me – but I never anticipated the haunting