Africa is beautiful. When people ask me about my trip, my reply is, “It was heartbreaking and hopeful.”
Wild animals roam freely (like the baboon that jumped out of the tree and stole a sugar packet from the breakfast table at our hotel!) The Compassion Kenya staff laughed at us when we asked them to pull the van off the road, so we could photograph a herd of wild zebras. (They laughed harder when I squealed and pointed like a girl at the zoo).
One of the most amazing sites was a herd of elephants near the road.
We were told by one of our Kenyan friends that elephants love each other deeply. If one of their own dies, the other elephants mourn the loss. They grieve and can be heard crying for miles. Mother elephants are distraught over the deaths of their babies. They honor the dead by trying to bury the body with branches and leaves, so it won’t be destroyed by other animals.
Elephants seek out the lost and even in death, they honor them by collecting the bones of the dead and place them in an elephant graveyard. Each year, around the same time, the elephants travel back to this place to mourn.
Simply put, they remember…. so they won’t forget.
They remember the death and the time of pain. They weep for the lost. Then they carry on, but they do not forget.
This week has been a time of remembering for me. I have been reading the posts from the Compassion Guatemala Blogger Team and so much of what I felt and experienced has come back in soulful rush of emotion. I have wept for the lost and rejoiced with those found.
Ann has one line in this amazing post that rocked me to the core: “Once we have seen [poverty], we are responsible–we will respond. One way or the other.”
I’ve been out of Africa for six months. My response is coming Monday (Love Mercy). I pray you will take this prophetic word and respond with me. One way or the other.
I did more than snap pictures of wild animals in Africa; I learned from these great beautiful beasts.
I want to remember…..