Posted by: JennyRain | May 16, 2010

Meet With Me: He Reaches Across the Globe for Us

I have definitely been getting my processing on since returning from Africa.

Today was no exception.

As John and I emerged from our car, we walked into church behind two women dressed in full African garb. It was a weird sensation… being back in America, but seeing the exact same thing I saw a week ago in Burundi!

We sat behind the African family and it was strangely comforting to see the familiar multi-colored long pagnes (skirts) and matching geles (headwraps) for the women.

I kept glancing at the women…listening for the language… watching for anything that would connect me back to Burundi.

The service was for ascension Sunday and focused on Jesus’ commands to the disciples during the forty days He appeared after His resurrection. Scripture ranged from Acts, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” to psalms about the nations. We sang about the nations, blessed an outgoing missionary couple, and heard a sermon that defined the church as:

People God gathers in the whole world with Christ as head.

I could not escape the fact that less than seven days ago I was in God’s same church an ocean away…celebrating with the nations…

Church in Africa is an experience.

Be prepared to sit for between two to four hours in stagnant-air-because-there-are-no-windows-in-the-church. We were fortunate enough to have interpreters who could explain the service, but typically services are done completely in the mother tongue with no one to translate into English for the visitors (I actually like it better without interpretation because I feel more immersed in the culture without translation).


We sat through two services last Sunday – so we were in church from 8am – 1:30pm.ย To say it was a long morning would be an understatement, though I must admit, it was fun.

I had started to wilt by the second service.

But God showed up in the form of a song.

Before I left Lisa-Jo http://www.thegypsymama.com (last week’s Thursday guest blogger), wished me sweet dreams one night with a very special song called “Meet with Me,” by Ten Shekel Shirt.

I had just been playing the album the morning she sent it, but Lisa-Jo had no way of knowing that. She just tweeted a bunch of us a “good night” song.

It was the first thing I heard that morning and the last thing I heard before I went to bed.

It was also becoming the theme song of the trip for me.

It was what I wanted to happen when I reached Africa… meet with God.

So you can imagine my surprise when the African choir got up to sing the special selection and it was THAT VERY SONG.

(quality is not great, but you get the idea)

At that moment God stepped into the church service in a mighty way for me.

To think He had reached all the way across the globe to connect my life in America with my experience in Africa was mind-blowing.

As the choir sang I rested into the song, closed my eyes, and embraced God’s sweet goodness in that moment.


Today’s service here in America had the same impact on me.

To think God reached back across the globe to orchestrate an African family in full traditional dress sitting right in front of me was very special.

This week, God knew I was struggling to let go of Africa so He showed me the Africa that is here all around me.
Last week, God knew I was weary from being away from America, so He gave me a familiar taste of home from an African church.

It is beautiful, really.

God’s very personal essence.


When I arrived home I read the following…

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph 3:17

I know God is with me. Whether I am here struggling towards Africa, or whether I am in Africa longing for home.

This is more than a feeling, it is – to me – a fact. A beautiful Truth that I hold on to wherever I am.

“He will quiet me with His love”

I know that He can, does, and will eventually quiet my soul from its processing…

For now, I’m not ready yet to let go of the wrestling my soul still needs to do about Africa.

I am missing Africa.

I miss its people.
Its language.
Its culture.
I miss the sights.
I miss the smells.
I miss the music.

And for now… I shall rest in the beauty of longing…

Africa series coming this week

This week I’ll be sharing about my experiences in Africa both through story and pictures. To say it was amazing would be a gross underestimation. ย I’ve been to Africa twice before, but this trip was different…special…captivating…it has not let me go.

I can’t wait to share my journey with y’all… see you tomorrow at the Rain!

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Responses

  1. I can’t wait to hear all about it and share in it with you, friend.

  2. the african family you sat behind at church this morning was such a gift from God just for you! and i love how captivated your heart is for the nations… for my africa.

    and you’re right. there’s nothing in the world like worshiping in an african church.

  3. Hi, I loved reading your post and seeing your photos. I worked in Africa for 8 years and have a special love for the people and the land. I’m so eager to read more about your trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I got acquainted with your blog through Lisa-Jo, The Gypsy Mama. What a gal!

    Blessings to you!

  4. It is so evident to see how God is uniting your heart here in America with your heart you left in Africa. He isn’t finished with you yet or the work He started through you over there.

    You are loved and I’m looking forward to hearing all about your trip and the training.

  5. Jenny
    Welcome home, so awesome to hear of your excitemnent in living with and wirshipping with the brothers and sisters in Africa. I cant wait to read your series. He is really working through you in many different ways now, and it is inspirational to watch. God Bless
    Jim

  6. With my own trip to Africa weeks away, I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts from your trip. ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved this post by the way. There’s something about worshiping with fellow believers miles away from home that reminds you of the significant truth that we aren’t home at all – we’re just passing through. Thanks for the encouragement – and the reminder. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • OOO where are you going? So excited for you! Is this your first time to Africa?

      • Nairobi, Kenya – specifically the Kibera slum. Here’s my post about it: http://eloranicole.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/kenya-skies/

        We leave June 13 and come back the 26th and yes – it’s my first time. I’m excited and nervous and scared and absolutely humbled. Africa has held my heart for the past five years, and I haven’t even gone. I can’t imagine what will happen when she gets me in her embrace.

  7. Oh, Jenny. That’s it. Just Oh, Jenny. There really are no appropriate words sometimes to describe what’s going on on the inside.

    That’s how I feel after reading this, listening to this.

    {When can we do coffee, eh?}

    • I KNOW! Is that not just the best God-moment EVER? He is soooo good!

      just emailed you about coffee tawk ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Beautiful… I’ve never been to this beautiful place, yet a part of my heart is already there. The video brought tears to my eyes. Can’t wait to see Africa through your eyes this week, sweet friend.


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