Today I am leaving poem. I love it!
I wrote this in the summer of 2016, after I came home from Uganda. It was a reflection on our visit but was written with the impetus of my friend Alain Emerson about to leave on his trip. Alain and I have shared our vision for, and love of, Africa for over fifteen years. Having led him on a team to South Africa, it was Alain, and his late wife Lindsay, who led me to Uganda.
Alain asked me, as he regularly does, about what music to download for his trip. My daughter Jasmine had introduced me to Needtobreathe and I suggested them. Their song Difference Maker started running around my head as I thought about Alain’s trip. He told me he would kiss the African sun for me!
I then started thinking about Alain’s journey and mingled my prayers for his trip with my hopes for the trip we had just had. I have to credit the ‘mutual poverty’ line to Brad Miller on a long car journey across Indiana.
So off we go again. What I am most looking forward to is allowing that African sun, through all our friends at Fields Of Life and Onialeku Primary School, to kiss us!
In the end it is a declaration of mission, of giving and receiving God's love in Africa, at home or wherever.
GO… AND KISS THE AFRICAN SUN
Her last seed fell so hard
The cruelest smite of all
Then bursting through the pain
A harvest of light for all
Go help make an eternal difference
Turn around every fallen inference
Give the children back their innocence
And kiss the African sun.
Throw and scatter and sow
Find more seeds in the cup
Watch harvest yield a harvest
Curse all the weeds ripped up
Love until we all know grace has won
Burn until hopelessness is over and done
Leave nothing out there after the run
And kiss the African sun
Oh kiss that African sun
They say that we are rich
But we are only rich in shillings
Oh the wealth of their resilience
Innovation and being willing
They say that they are poor
But they are only poor in shillings.
Go and share our mutual poverty
Learn what mutual wealth can do
Bring back home the blessings of God
And let the Africa sun kiss you
Let that African sun kiss you!