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Africa 7 – The Lost is Found and Manly Deodorant

March 9, 2007

Well, I had to wrap up one little loose end before I close the book on our trip to Africa. We left Zimbabwe on November 14th to begin our trek home with 40 hours straight of traveling (!!!). After being told all week that South African Air was not able to locate my lost bag, we thought we’d check in one last time. When we arrived in Johannesburg from Zimbabwe, we inquired once more and learned that they had finally found it in their systems and that my bag had had an adventure of it’s own having been shipped to AngolaNigeria, and Rwanda. We were told that it would be in one of two places, or otherwise lost forever. He told us we could look in the lost baggage store room, or it may have come with the flight from Rwanda that arrived the same time as our flight from Vic. Falls. We turned around and to our amazement, we saw my beat up little green suitcase roll by on the conveyor belt at that very moment. It was definitely a little worse for wear, but it was there .. and what a sight for sore eyes.

I grabbed it, retrieved some fresh clothes and changed immediately. I also put on some manly deodorant. What a feeling! And just in time for the remaining 36 hours of travel to get home.

I had some new pretty expensive clothes in there that were purchased for a recent photo shoot (that’s the only time I get to buy really great clothes .. we call it shoot loot), and I was disappointed to think I would have lost that. But when we opened up my suitcase it was all there except one shirt and all the gifts we had brought for Ottilia, which included medicines and ointments.

It was another reminder of the realities of Africa, where luggage is looted for band aids and medicines instead of for expensive clothes. Designer jeans have much less value in Africa than a 2 dollar tube of Neosporin.

There are more stories I could tell .. like how our escort in Lesotho regarded us as angels who reassured him of God’s care for his country, how Steve Reynolds said his family really liked my music (a friend of Bono likes my music! Woo-hoo, how cool is that?), and much more .. but as I look at the length of these posts I’m afraid I’ve already been a little self-indulgent.

If you’ve read this far, thank you so much for caring and taking time to read our story and allow us to share our passion with you. Thank you, too, to the wonderful people we’ve met this past year who sponsored a child. It’s working! This year we were blessed to bring in more than 450 sponsors .. and we’re up to 200 so far for `07! Our prayer at the beginning of last year was that we would break the 1000 sponsorship mark .. an ambitious prayer that even we didn’t take very seriously. But I’m happy and humbled to report that we ended the year with a total of 1006 sponsorships. We are so grateful to all who responded this last year. We are blessed to partner with my audience to serve the poorest of the poor children in the world.

We are told in James chapter one that true religion is this: to look after the orphan and the widow in their distress. If you sponsored a child, or if you gave in an offereing, or bought a CD, or if you did anything in support of our ministry this past year, it has equipped us to be about the truest part of our faith and serve Jesus who hides himself among the poor. Thank you.

Read next: Africa 8 – Thanksgiving 

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