Taking the Word to the World

Kenna Graves:

After being up for thirty-seven hours straight and then getting between twelve to thirteen hours of sleep, I made my way to the kitchen and opened up the screen door. It was empty and quiet and it hit me all over again. My family is no longer here. That’s what you all became to me. You were like my sisters. It was an honor to travel this beautiful country and experience this culture along with some of the most amazing, strong, and hardworking people I know. You’re all part of the reasons Next Steps 2014 was life changing and forever remembered.

Courtney Boyd:

– Sitting in my favorite chair.
– Cuddling with my favorite blanket.
– Drinking from my favorite mug.

I used to cherish the things above, which are on “My Favorite Things” list. And even though these things still warm my heart, they don’t make me feel at home. My heart just isn’t the same after leaving Africa. Looking back, most of those things were simply material. Now my favorite things are not material, rather the little things and moments that helped mold my life.

– I miss sitting under the Africa sky being completely overwhelmed by how beautiful the moon was, and how it was as if I could reach out and pluck it from the galaxy’s abyss.
– I miss cuddling (nugging) with my girls in the “safe space.”
– I miss drinking from my favorite coconuts that I’d freeze beforehand.

Brandi Young:

How weird it was waking up to a cold, quiet house this morning. No sounds of kids laughing through the village, no woman yelling and selling bread, no sound of motorbikes or trucks passing by. Those sounds drove me crazy at 5am in Africa and I never thought I would miss them! But man, waking up to silence; that was hard. Saw the pic my best friend painted me this morning and lost it because it is so, so true.

Where_is_Your_Heart_this_Morning

If it’s true “home is where the heart is” I have a feeling there is a group of young people today with bodies in one continent and hearts at home in another.

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