There can come beauty from the ashes.
Still, it remains in my mind some days later, the picture of the children's shoes outside the front door of the house on a warm Sunday afternoon. I can feel the warm breeze blowing through the front door, hear the weeping of children, and feel the sting of death - and there was my little girl in the middle taking part in the "ministry of presence."
The pots were too small today, but we can fix that.
One of the most painful experiences for any parent is to let their children spread their wings and fly. The first time I had to let go was in 2003 when my son Tommy left Africa to attend university Stateside. I wrote a poem for him, as I have for each one when they left. 2003 wasn't so long ago, was it?
What difference does it make to help only a few instead of thousands?
Sparrows are so common that they are often thought to be "disposable." If one falls, why bother? There are literally millions, if not billions, of them filling our skies. It may not matter in the grand scheme of things, if one sparrow falls, but it does matter to that one sparrow.
One of the most important things a dream does is not for us, but what it can do for others. God never puts a dream in our hearts that won't spill out and reach others with His love. When the dream God puts in you resurrects another's dream that has died, you have passed the test.
The simplicity of Africa has spared me from the confusion of having to face the "new and improved." I only want a tube of toothpaste when entering the store. What I don't want to face is feeling as if I have to make a major life decision between brands and their sub-brands.
Most young couples dream of building careers, buying property and weekend barbecues. Us? We were busy trying to book cheap flights, set up international vaccination appointments and get our passports.
I can say for certain, when you answer the call to go, you'll never have a dull day, a dull moment. Every day will be fresh, full of opportunity for something new.