Author: James Poitras
Eight weeks has passed for the Next Steps participants in Togo, West Africa. They have been challenged, convicted, convinced, changed, and leave more committed than ever before. Here are a few of the parting words these fine young people.
Today is my final day in Africa. I cannot believe it! These past two months have been absolutely incredible! The memories and friendships made will forever hold a special place in my heart. Today I was honored to attend my final church service in Africa. The service was incredible and I think I spent the entire time in tears as I realized it was good-bye. I will be heading to the airport soon and saying my final good-byes to my fellow next steppers and the Togo team. I know it is going to be one of the hardest things I will ever have to do. I don’t even have the words to describe what these individuals mean to me. Africa has completely changed my life, and I pray that I will return again. I know I am leaving a huge piece of my heart here with these beautiful people.
As I say goodbye to all these beautiful smiles and faces, my heart is literally being ripped in two. I have been crying all day, and we still have seven hours until we fly out. My time here in Togo has been the most life changing experience. I am forever changed. I have made lifelong friends, and I have fallen completely in love with working in the harvest field. My passion is deeper, and my vision is greater. Togo, I love you. Revival is sweeping all over this country, and will continue until the Lord comes back. If I never come back to Togo, heaven will be so much better. As I said goodbye, it is not goodbye for good; we will meet again.
Saying goodbye never gets easier. I can’t believe my time in Africa is over. My heart has broken in two again today. I literally don’t think I have another tear to cry. Why does this have to be so hard?!
I cannot describe what this trip has done for me. To say the least it was life changing. A piece of my heart will always be in Africa whether or not I step foot on African soil again. I will miss all of the next steppers, aimers, and missionaries dearly.
Eight weeks was not enough. No time probably would be enough. I’ll miss everything about this place, even the not so pleasant things. But most of all, I’ll miss the people and sweet faces like this one.
At the beginning of this Next Steps journey we were told saying “goodbye” wouldn’t be easy, but I never imagined it would be this hard. It seems so surreal that all of it has come to end, but I feel so blessed and honored to be a part of the amazing Next Steps 2014 team. It has truly been a once in a lifetime experience with some of the most incredible people that I know. There are just no words.
Africa has given me a whole new heart for Children.
After this flight I’ll be back in the U.S., but my heart will still be in Africa.
In the midst of tears and on your journey home, take this word from Dr. Seuss:
I love this picture of Courtney Boyd, a creative young lady from Arkansas. Also note the pages out of her journal.