Beyond being a Monday, there was an added sadness to my day. For the first time in 4 years, I was not on the trip to Kenya but instead was one of the well wishers and prayer supporters that came around the group to pray as they went. It was truly harder than I expected. Maria and I were the first ones there. Oh, my dear Marsico. It would have been our third trip together. We first met at a meeting for the first trip to Kenya. After a bonding trip to Charlottesville to get our much needed shots for Africa, I think we both knew that we were going to have a fun trip to Kenya. What we didn't realize then was how much our personalities would click and that a lifelong friendship was forming. That first trip to Kenya could have been the Sarah and Maria show which had to annoy everyone else around. Really. I mean, we thought we were SO funny ALL the time. A glance back at the videos and pictures from that trip show that we perhaps weren't as funny as we thought we were then. God used that trip to transform the direction of my entire life; He also gave me a lifelong friend that I will always cherish. As we were the first to arrive today, we laughed at the variety of inside jokes that two trips to Kenya have given us. It was only right that the Kenyans going on the trip were an hour and a half late. Before loading into the van, the whole team circled together to pray. Prior to the prayer, the worship leader for the team led everyone in a song. What song, you ask? "How Great Is Our God". You'll need to check out my below post about this song to know why it was this that made tears fill my eyes. My arm around Maria, memories of Kenyan children singing this song floating through my head, I was again reminded the incredible work that God is doing in Africa. As we hugged goodbye, I remembered a conversation that we had the other night. Maria brought up that God has used Africa from the beginning until now to connect our friendship. As His work in our lives continue, this friendship will continue as well. I am so honored that God has put this woman of Him in my life.
God has truly blessed me with the friends that He has put into my life. It is these friends that listen to me dramatically rant about my Monday's, that laugh at my sarcasm, that encourage me when I'm down and sharpen me in my walk with Christ. Saying goodbye to these treasured friends makes me tear up at the thought of it. I bask in the fact that the bond of Christ will never truly part us. Please remind me of this when I'm thousands of miles away from each of them and desperately wishing to hear their voices and feel their hugs. :)
So, to all those treasured friends, THANK YOU! You mean the world to me!
On a totally different non-sentimental note, I was also watching the season finale of 24 while writing this blog. At least this was wasn't some crazy cliffhanger that made you wondering how the next season would start! Whew. Here's to hoping that I can watch the next season in Uganda! :)