I had our team read through a book on our trip called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan (which is currently required reading for being my friend http://www.crazylovebook.com/) and in one of the chapters he says what many others have said but in a way that God has used tremendously in my life over the past few weeks. Essentially, he compares the foolishness of making this life all about me to being an extra in a 3 hour epic movie where the back of your head appears on screen for 2/5 of a second and then calling all your friends to come to see the movie about you. It makes no sense, but that's exactly what we do when we make life all about us and inevitably when we do this, we find ourselves complaining, grumbling, and turning to all sorts of selfish pursuits that leave us more empty and more miserable at the end of it all. By God's grace, this was the mindset that I entered our little 24 hour detour with, so that when the other members of our team jumped on their jet as we received cash, a transit visa, and a ride to The Stanley Hotel in Nairobi I was able to say, "God must want us in Nairobi."
Love to say that I know exactly what God wanted us in Nairobi for, but I'm not altogether sure. What I do know is that the 4 of us looked for ways to make the most of our opportunity and to that end, we hung out for a few hours with a lady named Sonia who was in a similar situation to us. She was supposed to have been on our flight as well and ended up at our hotel. We chatted during the bus trip to the hotel and then over breakfast at the hotel (or really she chatted and we listened) and discovered that she was a photographer from the Virgin Islands and a Reverend of a Unitarian church. When she learned we were from a non-denominational church in Dallas, her eyes lit up under the assumption that we, like her, believed in nothing which is something. We took the opportunity to inform her that we do believe in something and that His name is Jesus and He alone is the hope of the nations. We had a very pleasant dialogue and shared truth with her as much as possible, but the Lord didn't choose to enlighten her heart in that moment. We prayed for her and prayed that the seed that we planted or the water we threw on that seed would bear fruit in eternity, but we'll probably never know.
What we do know is that God was glorified in our lives in those moments, so if the story of my life is really all about him, then we did exactly what we should have done. It was a blessing to watch Jeff and Todd and Vince jump right in the fray with us and to see them encouraged that God was still in control whether we were in Nairobi or Burundi. Still wish we had been in Burundi, but it's your story Lord, so write what you will and may I be faithful to play my part.
Sunset in Makamba, Burundi when we did arrive.