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Souls... Lost and Found - Cyrus' Mission Trip to Africa

CyrusM's picture
Souls... Lost and Found - Cyrus' Mission Trip to Africa

My missionary friends from The Mission Church Renton and I were set to visit a much talked about West Africa (more accurately Sierra Leone) in the recent years. A dream come true on my bucket list and a privilege.

I expected it would be different than India, Pakistan, Nepal (visit Impact A Life Foundation), Thailand, or Mexico; the face of poverty is never the same. Although the needs may be common, the cultural history and spiritual aspects dominating personal aspirations will always paint a different picture unique to the region. Africa was no exception.

I heard it was a resource-rich continent plagued with poverty, illiteracy, and epidemic disease... all of which was true, but what was humbling to witness was their pride, generosity, contentment, and above all a thirst for spiritual quench. The clouds above our heads, the farms ploughed along the less traveled roads, and a land so endowed with natural minerals; Africa is unique. It is happy and hospitable, blessed with a diverse culture. From their reserves of diamonds, platinum and gold to coal and crude oil, they have the means to rise from the ashes like a phoenix. But corruption, greed and lawlessness has robbed this rich land from its resources. However difficult or sad it may seem, Africa shamelessly bears one another's cross (and at times the rest of the world).
Africa’s painful past and rich history has taught them that the scorching sun only tans and beautifies their black skin. The backs of their forefathers' didn't suffer from the whiplash of slavery for nothing. What you see is a love that conquers the hatred, famine, genocide, and diseases.

Africa’s dream is contained, they want to feed, clothe, and brighten the future of the younger generation. Don’t we all? Muslims and Christians worship God under the same roof, and in hard to reach villages donate land to build churches. Their worship and intimate relationship with God is genuinely pure, naked and bold all at the same time. When they pray, they pray their hearts out... and when they surrender, they are bravely all in. I was privileged to participate in a baptism Ceremony of 17 Muslims in a river near Makeni in Sierra Leone. I get goose bumps as I write about it.

Though our trip was short, what I personally brought back with me will have a long-lasting impact on how I will view Africa from now on.

For Cyrus’s full photographic journal, click here.

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