I’ve been home from Ethiopia less than 48 hours and trying to figure out what life looks like after a ‘life changing’ trip.

The trip really can only be described as life changing.

The question now is ‘how is my life really going to change’?

I’m not really sure what the answer is at this point.

Right now, I cannot get the word ‘abundance’ out of my head.

This trip has made me more aware of the excess that is here in America.

I’m struck by the fact that the 4 shirts and 2 pair of pants that I left in Ethiopia for young girls from the Compassion project is more clothing than most of those girls have in their entire wardrobe.

While folding the clothes we brought on our trip, I couldn’t help but think that the contents of our one suitcase was more clothing than most Ethiopian families own. Yet, we still have a closet of clothes – we packed maybe 20% of our clothing for the trip.

Seeing the 2 cloth soccer balls we brought home for our boys lying on the floor amidst all the others toys scattered around makes me think back to our home visit with the 6-year-old boy, Sintayehu, that we sponsor. He showed us the ball he made out of an old sock with his mama’s help. That homemade ball and 6 bottle caps were his only toys.

The two books I ordered for Paxton’s pre-school that arrived while I was gone seem excessive since most of the children I interacted with don’t even own one picture book.

While I’m not solely focusing on material things, the abundance of  our possessions stands out to me as I’m readjusting to life here.

I can’t help but laugh at the fact we say we live minimally in a small home. Your perspective of 1,300 square feet changes when you’ve been in a home that’s about the size of a king size bed and is home to 5 people.

As I’m processing my emotions, I can’t help but think that Americans really are the ones who lack. The Ethiopian Christians we met have so much faith, so much passion for Jesus, love for their neighbors, love for fellow believers and give generously from what little they have. Their abundance is found not in material possessions but in Jesus.

I’ve been inspired, challenged and forever changed to live more simply so we can give even more generously. I want my abundance to change – from material abundance to abundance in Jesus.

I hope to share more about our trip, the children we sponsor and their families and the ways my life has been changed in the coming weeks as I process the emotions of my trip.

*We traveled with Compassion International and saw first hand that lives really are being changed. Sponsoring a child is just $38 dollars a month. Your money provides education, food for families and health care. Your letters inspire children to dream, make them feel loved and give them hope.*

responses to “Abundance” 5

  1. Even just seeing the images you shared on Instagram while you were gone I started thinking about how little those families have in comparison to the excess I live in. It made me feel almost ashamed I ever complain about "needing" something or something that I "need" got ruined or lost. I look forward to reading more about your trip – it sounds like it was an amazing experience!

  2. I'm sure it would be benefical for all Americans to take such a trip. It would be an eye opening experience that surely would change many lives. We have so much and are so ungrateful for our abundance. I look forward to reading the stories about your trip.

  3. I have never gone on a charity trip of this kind, but did go backpacking when I was a student. I just lived out of a medium-sized backpack and yet I always looked clean and tidy. I certainly did not feel the lack of clothes or possessions during my trip. It really made me realise how little I need. When other people say they 'need' to buy a whole new wardrobe for the new season I now always think, "do you really…?"

  4. I've traveled to Africa once and understand the life changing impact that I'm sure this trip had on you. I can't wait to read more of your journey and experiences. Glad you had a good trip.

  5. Prayers for you as you discern where God is leading you!
    I also look forward to hearing more 🙂
    Glory to God for the gift you are to the spread of the Gospel message!

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