My sister friend, Rachel, said it so right......she said "you really do find out what you are made of over there." Faith is required. And not any faith. A level of faith that we as Westerners aren't used to operating on 24 hours a day. A level 10 kind of faith. Love.....love is required. And not what you think love is. LOVE love.....Jesus love. Even that sounds to pretty to accurately describe what I'm talking about. Unless you know Jesus. And you know that sometimes His love wasn't wrapped in a beautiful bow. Over there, faith costs. Love....costs. And when you go, and go to give, you find out just how much you're willing to pay.
Us. Westerners. We have set ourselves up so well. We are accomplishers. We are goal setters. We are busy task finishers that just love to check things off of our list and move on to the next. That never ending list that we are finding more and more ways making life just a little more convenient for us. What's easy. What's comfortable. That's our goal. But where's the faith in that? Where's the love? Where's the generosity and the servanthood? We have accomplished ourselves right out of needing God. We have met so many goals and finished so many tasks and built our tower up so high.....we have almost convinced ourselves that we don't need faith. We are comfortable enough. We don't need REAL love. Jesus love. We are successful enough. In Burundi, if you don't have faith FILLED to the brim.....I don't see how you have a chance. In the west.....we have succeeded at a lot, including distracting ourselves into thinking we don't need faith.
Personally, I'm not comfortable being comfortable. Being in Burundi, having to be filled to the brim with faith, eyes securely and consistently locked on Jesus, walking in love every step of your day.....that's a breath of fresh air for me. In this state, I am me. 100% me. I am free. There is a liberation that happens in our souls, when we shed all things but His Spirit. When we surrender, there is an everlasting victory. When we serve the lowest and the least, there is a reward so great, no other success can counter it. Oh how I pray for this revelation in the west. Oh how I pray for us to become uncomfortable.
You don't know what true faith is until it's all you have left. You don't realize what true love is, until you see just how unlovable you can be. To be someone who literally only has Jesus, is to be the most free, most rich and blessed. Being in Burundi is a blessing that I am highly honored by and I hope and pray that I will always get to return. Blessing people with the vitals of living. Food, water, soap, shelter and love....it doesn't get any better than that. But I will tell you why I really love what we do in Burundi. I really love what we do because it costs me something. It's not easy. There are battles. It is uncomfortable at times. We encounter struggles. Obstacles. Resistance. We even encounter persecution. But that, is what it's all about. That's how I know that what we do counts for something. That is love. It costs. Love is a slow and long journey that starts with the establishment of a relationship. And continues no matter what it encounters. Fueled by faith. And when faith is all you're running on, you're always bound for freedom. When love costs you something, you'll never be richer than you are when you pay that cost and pay it gladly. This is everyday living in the land that I love, Burundi.
So until I get to return....these images keep stirred what Burundi planted in my spirit. I pray these images speak to you. I pray you share them and that they speak to your family and friends. I hope these eyes and smiles ignite a faith in you. And spark a love. A love that costs and a faith that never rests. Please feel free to leave comments below and share this post with someone!