Posted: December 10, 2015 by Melissa Trivisonno, attender
I’m pretty sure that God was preparing us for this trip all of the way up until the moment we stepped onto African soil and kissed the dry, rocky ground. The day we were scheduled to leave, we awoke to a thick, white blanket of snow. The fresh, snowy ground cover symbolized the presence of God on this trip and the confirmation that He would strengthen us, work through us, change us. It made me hopeful that He would bring encouragement and comfort to others as we served.
God was working hard on us, so much so, that O’Hare shut down due to the snow. What was he teaching us? Patience? Surrender? Through an “Amazing Race” of sorts, we arrived in Africa three days later. Not so much to our surprise, our luggage arrived two days later. We learned the value of simplicity, lost our vanities without toothbrushes, makeup, or our choice of clothing.
In Project Canaan, we witnessed a community that was expanding out of a rocky, dessert-like savannah. An oasis that is growing toward self reliance by employing locals in agriculture, woodworking and arts & crafts. It is a huge undertaking that requires our support to ensure that it succeeds. God showed us daily miracles such as 104 (and growing) children, kindergarten and under, rescued from discard and LOVED. God was working hard on us.
Project Canaan has an outreach program that provides clothing and Feed My Starving Children packets to local families in need. We had the opportunity to serve one of these families on a homestead visit. Our team brought clothing and Feed My Starving Children food packets. We stopped at a local market and pooled our money together to buy potatoes, onions, oranges, milk and rice. We packed a few treats together for the kids, like soccer balls, bubbles, stickers and suckers. God was working hard on us.
We met a 78 year old grandmother raising 10 children and a disabled son. My stomach sank when I looked around to see there was not a shred of food in their mud home. I became aware of my extra weight and my excesses and I could feel God changing me. Some of the children were wearing torn clothing, some none at all. I thought of all the time I had spent choosing and sorting what clothes to pack for this trip. I could feel God changing me. I saw humility in the grandmother’s eyes as she spoke to our driver. He translated her Siswati to English. “She said, she has been praying for this.” I could feel God take all of my pride and humble my heart. He was changing me.
Our team held hands with this family. We prayed as God’s presence encompassed us all. Neither of us was different from the other. We were all children of God praising Him, thanking Him. And just as I had prayed in preparation for this trip, for God to change me, He had.