Tommy & Tanner 2021
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Three years later and another opportunity to travel to Africa and help those in need with getting access to clean water. I am more thrilled than excited this time because my ten-year-old Grandson is coming with me to Malawi to help repair water wells! The experience was so profound to me in 2018 that to be blessed with the opportunity to share another adventure with my little buddy is beyond measure.
In 2018, the trip to Tanzania, climbing Kili and then experiencing Child Legacy’s mission in Malawi touched me very deeply. Mike asked once, why did you go to Africa? In sum, I went to experience. More broadly, I went to learn. To learn about God, myself, and those in need. Boy did I learn. My profound learning point can be summed this way; stay true to the Back of the Boot. That philosophy got me beyond my fears and worries. It got me to the top of that mountain and brought me to my knees in prayer of gratitude at more than 19K feet!
What may you ask is a Back of the Boot philosophy? Well, each day we climbed I would work my way as close as I could to one of the guides. I learned that his steps were true and if I followed the back of his boot, I would be safe. Think about that a sec. The metaphysical experience collides with metaphorical reference to show me how I should follow God every day. To this day, thinking about that gives me chills. Stay true to the Back of the Boot!
Yet this learning was not the most impactful period of my trip to Africa 3 years ago. What impacted me the most was the opportunity to serve God in helping the Villages of Malawi gain access to clean water. Watching the faces of the families when the wells would come to life was chilling, moving, compelling. I worked, I played with children, I ate with the Village Chiefs, and I observed the truth of the human existence’s simplicity. I had never felt more at peace.
2021 arrives and Mike calls again about a trip to Africa. This time no Kili but lots of well repairs, lots of smiling kiddos wanting to play frisbee with me, lots of Families listening to me tell them stories of the Gospel, lots of love shared. And I get to spend this trip with my Grandson Tanner.
My hope for Tanner is that he gets to see another aspect of life. He may not be thinking about it but the stories I will tell him! I hope he doesn’t get sick of them, but I do want him to hear my words and know that staying true to the Back of the Boot keeps you in the moment and allows you to live God’s immediate will. I hope he learns to love others. I hope he has fun.