I prayed for years to visit somewhere in Africa. I applied for multiple jobs and spent time reading books about missionaries who have spent their lives here. Reading about how people see God in the ordinary moments here and how life in Africa seems just a little bit sweeter. This trip is what I have longed for for so very long that it almost seems unreal.
This afternoon we arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe. Coming into this trip, I wasn’t sure of what to expect but I was excited to see the way God was moving outside of the US. After a few flights including one very long international one, we arrived at the Harare Airport. It surprised me to see just how clean and well kept the airport was. Upon arriving in Zimbabwe, we were greeted by the ADM team. They greeted us with a hug and a big smile, making everyone feel welcomed. I honestly don’t think I can ever recall a time when strangers greeted me with such love. As we piled into the van, I had this sense of excitement rush over me. Excitement for all that God had planned for our team on this trip and excitement to explore a place I longed to visit for so long.
Our driver, Casper, drove us and our many bags to the mission house. I did not expect the beautiful property that the mission house sits on. I did not expect to see a beautiful yard filled with laughter as children jumped rope outside. My husband and I went for a walk this evening with the youth group leader for ADM. He told us all about the neighborhood and walked us around the multiple schools. We asked questions to better understand the Ruwa community. We walked by a group of young men playing soccer in a field, and I was surprised again. Surprised to see such joy on their faces when all they had was each other and a soccer ball. It made me think about the little joys God gives us in this life and how often I pass those up because I’m so focused on the next thing instead of living presently and letting God handle the rest. So for the next 12 days, I am going to live presently here and soak in all that the Lord is doing.
My first day in Zimbabwe. We went to a worship service in Domboshava. The people there seemed so happy and excited to sing, dance, and celebrate Jesus. After that, we played duck duck goose, Simon says, and red light green light with the kids while we waited for our games. I was in charge of the bean bag toss, and lots of kids loved it. Many even helped me with the game. After a popcorn break, we all split up and visited and got to know some of the kids. They loved to hug us, high-five is, and take selfies with us. They loved us even though they only just met us. I even left more energized than I was when we arrived! Today was an amazing first day in Zimbabwe, and I thank God for all of the amazing people I have met so far.
– Sayanna Bautista