Give. Go. Serve.Preview

"And whatever you do in word and deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." Colossians 3:17

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The Nube Heads to Malawi ~ Briana Kwiatek

I'm leaving for Africa in three days. Less than that actually. Cue white girl flip out. As I write this, I am sitting in my favorite SoCal coffee shop drinking my favorite drink, wearing my favorite hipster outfit, feeling very millennial and completely cliche. Ha, boy am I in for the culture shock of my life. Africa. There's a big, ambiguous unknown in that word. A safe detached distance produced not only by an expansive continent and a large body of water but a firm boundary line of ignorance. Most of my life, as typical of every naivee American, Africa has not just been a continent but a single solitary nation, composed of one identity, one story. Previously, I thought everyone in Africa was basically the same, emulating the same tragic narrative of poverty, living in a state of need that is so foreign and unthinkable in the context of our blessed state of prosperity. But about a week ago God shook my safe and detached "us and them" mentality. And Praise the Good Lord he did!

About a week ago, a dear friend of mine came to my doorstep bearing the gift of a book, the best gift for an over analytical English major like me. She said, "This book will put you in the correct mindset for Africa. Read it." And I did. It felt like the ice bucket challenge for my brain. Each page was a jarring but refreshing wave of new perspective. I read that because of our broken state as humans, each of us is susceptible to sin and therefore each of us is susceptible to poverty. Consequently we are all mutually broken--we are made equal by sin. I am no better cocooned in my prosperity. I am just as broken and we are equally valuable. I am not going over to Africa to heal people and save them from pain, that's God's job. I am going to Malawi, a nation described as, "The Warm Heart of Africa", to experience a mutual brokenness, to participate in an equal exchange of love and creativity. God created each  person, Malawians and Americans alike with gifts, abilities, passions and hopes. I am going to Malawi to see such unique and gifted souls and share with them the Papa God who created them to be like that. I am going to partner with them in fulfilling a real need for life giving water. I am going to share in the hope we have been given. And the crazy thing is, I am going with a team of people. Eleven of us, previously perfect strangers now united by the common goal of the gospel, get to go to Malawi and partake in mutual brokenness and subsequent hope. And nine of us are--to coin the phrase--total nubes! What a work God has done to bring the eleven of us, travel sages and newbies alike, to carry the hope of the gospel to Malawi.