Below is an entry from Chris Price, one of our Red Rocks Team members who just visited South Africa with us. I've asked the team members to write a blog entry explaining what they learned and experienced on their trip. This is the part of the trip that I really enjoyed, watching the impact on others lives. I've already seen what they are seeing and experienced it and I know how it has affected my life. It's very fulfilling to be a part of that process in the lives of others.
Here is Chris' entry:
It's difficult to put into words how this trip has changed my life. It's difficult to explain to friends and family how survival is a daily struggle for the people of Africa, or how they live in a place so vastly different from the quiet comfort of the States.
I’ve searched for some way to convey these experiences, and sadly, I am found wanting. I desire deeply for people to feel what I have felt, to see what I have seen, to experience all that I have experienced. However, I am slowly learning that my humble words and photographs will never suffice. The more I think about it, this makes complete sense, these things are worldly, how could they possibly compensate for such a divine experience?
Something inexplicable happens when you find yourself outside of every comfort you’ve ever known. Being surrounded by such tragedy I had to constantly remind myself that this is not a dream, but a dramatic reality.
I quickly realized that any aid or comfort I might bring to these people will simply not be enough. The change needed in South Africa goes far beyond improving a home or providing a meal. The people there are suffering from a condition of the soul. It's the same condition that can be seen in your next door neighbor, a friend at work, the person pouring you your cup of coffee, and in the person looking back at you in the mirror. For the people in Africa that know Christ I am eternally grateful. They have given me an entirely new perspective on God, and impressed upon me far more than I left with them.
After a few days back home I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the sum of my experiences. Simply said, I have been shaken to my very core. I have been forced to reevaluate every aspect of my life. God has shown me the importance of working for something eternal. I no longer wish to concern myself with the greed and selfishness of American culture, instead I now yearn to do Gods work. The kind of work that produces fulfillment and happiness.
For two weeks I lived light-years away from the all consuming pettiness of Americana and felt nothing but joy the entire time. Even through the tragedy of life in South Africa I felt happiness. A sense that I was working for my God and that he was working in me.
More often than not we convince ourselves that happiness is a new car away, a new job away, a new relationship away, etc. All of these are variations of one core lie, that true happiness can be obtained apart from God. Satan uses this one lie in many different forms, that we might be distracted from a true and righteous view of God. A view that says, happiness lies in Him and nothing more.
To all who may read this. I issue this challenge. A challenge that was given to all of us long ago. Lose your life and you will surely find it. Amen.