It was our last Sunday in Kenya. Our group hiked down the plateau, our skin warm and voices joyful with the team’s anthem: “We Are Walking in The Light Of God…” I found myself in the building where they teach Bible study, sweating and hoping my sunscreen was of a sufficient SPF (it wasn’t). An elder prepared chapati (similar to a tortilla) for our team and my stomach eagerly accepted the offer. It had only been a few hours since my last meal, but I could feel the hunger pains rollin’ in. My eyes met a young boy’s as I took the first bite. I couldn’t swallow for all my guilt. I handed
him the chapati but he just smiled back at me. I motioned with my hand for him to take it but his smile didn’t waver.
A few things you should know about me: I have a propensity towards ignorance and self-centered behavior. I have constructed an unbreakable wall of entitlement that I am often ashamed to admit. There are times when I really hate my actions—when I really question my spiritual alignment. But, in those brief moments, that boy’s sweet smile absorbed all of my worries, previous guilt and self-loathing. I could finally let go and just be… just exist amongst his presence and soft breeze. Grace displaced guilt. His smile was one of reassurance, strength and faith. He was content with what he was given and willing to share his wealth with me. In a very real way, this boy marks my return to
I don’t even know his name. I look for him every year but my eyes never find his smile. I am indebted to him, to Pastor Habil, Mama Faith, the elders, orphans, Mama Lisa and Baba Troy. As a collective whole, they have given purpose to my academic pursuits and orientation to my life in such a way as to glorify God. The people of Kenya have so much joy and faith and love in the simple things – a testimony to the Christian life.
I live a blessed life, but I may never have realized it without Kenya. I return each year not to boast in myself but to be held accountable for my spiritual deficit, for which I have much to learn. I am so thankful for these experiences and eager to continue along this path.
–Audrey Campbell – Baylor ’10