I realize now that I was afraid to go to Liberia. I wanted to visit my daughter and see what her life is like, but sometimes, ignorance is bliss. It’s like the lyrics from the song Please Don’t Send Me to Africa:
Please don't send me to Africa
I don't think I've got what it takes
I'm just a man, I'm not a Tarzan
Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes
I'll serve you here in suburbia
In my comfortable middle class life
But please don't send me out into the bush
Where the natives are restless at night
I knew that I would be taken out of my comfort zone and wasn’t looking forward to it; I dreaded the heat, the absence of electricity and running water, and the 2 meals per day eating plan. But then a funny thing happened. Despite the lack of modern conveniences, I fell in love with the people of Liberia. I saw people who should have been sad, mad, depressed, or hopeless; instead, they were joyful, gracious, hospitable, and hopeful. The orphans that I met were beautiful and without the angry attitude that so many western kids have adopted.
God hasn’t called me to live in Africa, but my perspective will never be the same again. Africans are no longer an abstract thought or just pictures in a book. They’re lovely people who have years of hard work ahead of them just to get back to the standard of living they enjoyed before the war destroyed their country.
Yesterday I had breakfast with 2 ladies I met while in Liberia; we laughed together about the ridiculousness and cried together about the impact that trip has had on our lives. We’ll be forever friends because we shared an experience that no one else can relate to. If you ever get the chance to have your perspective changed, take it. It will be scary and it may not be painless, but it will be worth it. It will make you appreciate God’s blessings and forever change how you view the world.