Sometimes it’s hard to notice when God is moving right in front of you. We crave the miraculous. The moments that leave us in awe-struck wonder. Sometimes we are living right smack in the middle of those moments, yet somehow miss them.
I look back on my life and can name tens maybe even hundreds of instances where God has aligned things so perfectly, but in the moment I tend to miss that alignment. Those miracles.
I was pick pocketed last week as Anna and I were trying to meet with some friends. Even though I lost most of my spending money, I didn't want to worry about it too much, I mean God provided a way for me to come all the way to Africa so why fret about pocket change?
I did not think much about that provision this weekend, rather, I was sort of reluctant to go out with my friends at all since I had no cash. But I didn't want to be rude, so I offered to show some new visitors from Germany around town. We ended up having smoothies for lunch and then went out for dinner later that evening. The following day, another girl from the guest house I am staying at wanted to go out to see more of the town. I joined and we had ice coffee and ice cream at the super snazzy Sheraton hotel and resort. All three times the girls offered to pay - even my taxi was paid for without asking.
My spiritual gifts include mainly giving, service, and care taking. I so often don't realize - or find it hard to accept - when someone is taking care of me. Each time it took a few moments for me to realize what they had offered - but eventually I did. Even though it was maybe the equivalent of 5 dollars, it still felt like so much. It felt like a miracle.
Since the second I left Germany, I knew God was going to move. I expected the miraculous.
Today I was writing and trying to figure out what I want to do after Africa. This idea of gardening, renewable resources, and recycling keeps coming up whenever I think about my future. I can't explain it, but where ever I'm headed, I think it's in that direction.
I've already met three people already who are involved in organic gardening or environmental engineering.
This morning as I was swinging in the bright African sun, I got a great idea for new jewelry I want to make made totally out of recycled or found objects. It's one of the first concrete ideas I've been excited about.
I didn’t have too much time to dwell on the idea, so I quickly sketched what was in my mind before Anna and Menna come and brought me lunch (the 5th random free meal I've gotten since losing my money) before heading to the girls house.
An older Ethiopian man sat next to me on the bus. Our conversation started when his phone rang. It was the tone of a super galactic ray gun. Seriously. It was great. I certainly was not expecting this to come from an Ethiopian. He was even excited to share the tone with me via blue-tooth. Too bad I'm not that far up the technology chain. I made him play the tone over and over again as I acted out shooting everyone in the first 3 rows. Everyone was cracking up. I loooove making Ethiopians laugh. They are much easier critics than Germans and Americans.
We continued in conversation about how well his English was. Curious, I asked what he studied in university. He told me art - mainly ceramics. He still creates and his main art is made purely out of recycled plastic.
Yes, recycled plastic. I could not believe what I was hearing. Well, I could believe it. God has been speaking to me so loudly about these things. How much more specific could it be? What are the odds that this morning I was dreaming of recycled art and this guy, in the middle of Africa is telling me about his career in melted found plastic.
He showed me some of his work on his snazzy galactica phone. It's not something I would look to buy in Africa, but it sure was amazing that he was showing me there in that moment and that I met him, on that day.
These past few days have been surreal. Non-stop answers to prayers, as small as they may be, but answers nontheless. I think it's been pretty miraculous.
I’m hoping to get the chance to head to the countryside to take a short course on organic gardening thought by the organization Organic 4 Orphans. Things are moving slow at the girls’ house, but I have no doubt found my place here (I don't want to leave!!!). Every single one of the girls is a work of art. They are all so different and I can’t wait to share their stories, photos, and videos soon :)