In high school, there was this song we all knew the words to. It wasn't by Paula Abdul or U2, although we knew those too, this was by a guy named Scott Wesley Brown and it was called Please Don't Send Me to Africa. We all knew this song because it was catchy and clever and we were all pretty terrified that God would send us to Africa. We knew about missionaries going all sorts of places. We didn't have blogs then (can you imagine?) or cell phones really or email. But we had slide shows set to music and missionaries in town for Sunday night service and they asked for us to help out with their ministry.

Gladly, I thought, gladly, just don't send me.

I haven't thought about that song in probably 10 years. I haven't heard it for at least 15. But when I clicked on this blog, the lyrics rushed into my head.

"Please don't send me to Africa, I don't think I've got what it takes."

This is a blog by a girl who went to Africa, and not kicking and screaming or biting her nails, or escaping a problem. She just wanted to go, and she adopted a bunch of children, and she cares for hundreds more. When I read the first entry, I thought she went maybe ten years ago. She talks about her children the same way I talk about mine. She has a mother's heart. I thought she was at least my age or older and had done this for a while. She has 13 kids, after all, and the oldest is a teenager.

And maybe that's why I connected so much with her at first. That pull of a mother's heart is universal.

Then I read on. She wasn't 35. She wasn't 25. She was 22 - is 22. And she went to Uganda first at 17, then she came back to the States for a semester of college, and it just wasn't for her. She went back to Uganda at 18 years old, and started caring for the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick.

And then it was really her mother I was feeling for. Because, the only thing that I think would be harder than being sent to Africa, would be my daughter being sent to Africa.

She's just finished writing a book, and I hope it comes out soon, but for now her blog's the best "book" I've read in a long time. I just wanted to pass it on to you, and encourage you to read about the day she said goodbye to her beautiful boyfriend, or the day she she cut jiggers out of a little boy's foot, or dewormed a 10 pound girl that was 9 months old who eventually became her youngest daughter.

Most of the time I can see a little to the left and a little to the right of my own path, maybe I nod at some side roads that I don't intend to take. And then sometimes I get to see a path so different it feels like another planet, and I just wanted to share her story. I hope you love it as much as I do.

PS Thanks to my friend that just returned from Egypt for sharing this blog with me. :)


Robin said...

Rob, it had the same affect on me. She's like a modern-day mother Theresa. So young, but doing SO MUCH. It makes me wonder what I should be doing . . . I'm glad you're enjoying it. I guess we really do have very similar tastes, both in TV and reading material.

February 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM
Mystery Robin said...

Yeah we do - eerily so! (Has Steven Tyler won you over yet?) And yes, it's Mother Theresa all over again - both in her heart and actions. Really impressive...

February 23, 2011 at 12:07 PM
Robin said...

Yeah, I actually am liking Steven Tyler as a judge. I never thought I'd say those words, lol. He even makes Randy tolerable, gasp!

February 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM
nutschell said...

My sister is currently serving as a Peace corps volunteer in Mali. previously though, she went to Uganda and stayed there for six months. This is a book she will definitely be able to relate to as she loves to help out, and is especially in love with Africa. Thanks for sharing!

February 24, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Mystery Robin said...

Nutschell - thank you for sharing about your sister! I hope she's enjoying Mali. :)

March 6, 2011 at 10:04 PM

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