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Heart Like An African Taxi

MAY 2018

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by Julia Greif Julia is a member of the EM Africa staff who helps coordinate and lead IMMERSION teams in southern Africa. This post is about her time in Lesotho with the 6-Month Africa IMMERSION team.

There’s a saying in Africa that we use in our family, “Heart like an African taxi, there’s always room for one more.” Unless you’ve been in an African taxi, this makes zero sense. Let me break it down for you.

Africa Mission Trips

We were in Lesotho at our basecamp getting ready to go on a two-week homestay in the surrounding villages. They told us to be ready early in the morning and the taxi will take us to town where we'd catch another to our new homes. So we said our goodbyes and headed down the mountainous terrain. Immediately, loud, colorful music with beats that could be heard for miles was playing in the taxi and our new Basotho brothers and sisters were dancing and laughing, urging us to dance like crazy along with them. We stopped, picked up a person, and then the music played and we danced. We stopped, another person, music played, and we danced.

As we got to town and to our next taxi, we realized these taxis do not leave town until they are completely full. So sometimes you might wait for hours until the 15-passenger taxi has filled each seat. We waited about an hour before we set off to our host sister, Mpeo’s, house in a village about an hour and a half away. Again the music played and the same process happened: we stopped and picked up even more people along the way. Every few minutes, we stopped until people were literally standing in the doorway and we were driving with the door open. It’s an experience, to say the least, but it also got me thinking.

I want my heart to always be like an African taxi.

Isn’t that God’s heart toward us? He chases us down, stops, let’s us in His love and wants us to enjoy our presence in Him. I want to be the one that stops for the next person because they won’t just “catch the next taxi,” they are worth it to the Kingdom of God and I want them to know.

If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my time in Africa in the last few years of any importance, it’s that love is so vast and unique.

God’s Love is like an African taxi: it stops, let’s us in with all our baggage, and carries us where to we need to be.

The way God shows us love is amazing and it looks different everywhere you go.

Africa mission trips

Love looks like my host sister who had known me just one day but insisted on holding my hand through the entire village because she didn’t want me to get lost. Love is another host sister running through a field to greet us because she couldn’t wait for her other two sisters to come. Love is our host mom bringing out an old family photo album and pictures of her husband who passed away because she wants us to know about her life. Love is our host sister dancing and playing soccer with us on the side of the Lesotho mountains in our small village. Love is praying in Sesotho. Or our host mom eating dinner last just to make sure we had enough. Love is five of us sitting a small room praying in two languages to the same God before we go to bed.

God's love is so vast and so unique. It stops for the passerby, the stranger, and even the friend. His love dances with us in eternity. His love radiates hospitality and goodness. I want to pray for my heart to be more like an African taxi because God’s love is just like that, His kingdom is like that—limitless and always willing to stop for you and me.

“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
- 1 Corinthians 13:3

Africa Mission Trips

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