Journey to Africa – Make Your World Bigger

Blog by Associate Rosie Blackburn

With great excitement and some fear I left the comfort of my world and embarked on an eighteen day journey to Kenya and Tanzania January 9th-27th.  Marybeth Irvine, OPA, my wonderful travel companion and I joined 18 other travelers led by Fr. Joe Mitchell and Donna Manuel from the Earth & Spirit Center of Louisville, KY.

I think I will be processing this trip for the rest of my life!  Kenya is our homeland, where we as humans began and I felt that as we drove thru the country and walked on the land.  The energy of the land is palatable.  It is truly God’s paradise.  The landscape is breath taking; I kept hearing the song “This is Holy Ground” in my head as I walked on the land and viewed it from the bus.  And the people – I struggle to find the words to describe the beautiful faces of these wonderful people.  They opened their hearts to us and welcomed us, celebrated life with us, fed us and shared their land with us.  The faces of God – loving us just because.

We visited Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, and played with these beautiful children that were so grateful we had come to visit.  They were joyful, very proud of their school and very interested in our physical appearance!  The poverty was overwhelming and yet these children found joy in what they had that day, a meal and visitors to play with!

Now that I am back home I find myself much more mindful and appreciative of my many blessings.  I am ever so thankful for water and hot showers.  My first trip to the grocery when I returned found me in tears at the abundance of choices and all the excess we take for granted.  I am forever grateful for these beautiful people showing me the face of God and the beauty of our wonderful world.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

14 responses to “Journey to Africa – Make Your World Bigger

  1. Rosie, thank you so much for your sharing of your trip to Africa. Your words and pictures are so inspirational. You have been blessed enormously on this trip. You will forever have it in your heart. What a wonderful way to share with us this wonderful trip.

  2. You expressed so well an important experience of walking with those who can teach us of what is most important. Thanks for going,sharing the experience.

  3. Your prayer is already different because you both are already different. You will truly never be the same. Rosie, thanks for sharing just a tad of your excitement. I’m eager to hear more on the sidelines when our Midwest Mission Group gathers.

  4. Rosie,
    You speak with a new vision and shared the beauty of the PEOPLE, CHILDREN, and LAND. Once we take the time to meet people around the world we truly feel connected. What a HOLY experience for you.

  5. Thank you,Rosie, for your powerful reflection! It certainly gives me much to ponder as I realize the privileged life we have! God bless those dear people… especially the children!

    Peace!
    Pat Mood, OP

  6. Thank you, Rosie, for sharing your heart of this life-changing experience. What a blessing to have been to Africa!

  7. Dear Rosie,
    Thanks so much for sharing your life changing pilgrimage to Kenya. You were truly blest to have this opportunity.
    Peace and love,
    Betty

  8. Dear Rosie Blackburn,
    Thank you for sharing your inspiring trip to Kenya and Tanzania and your experiences.
    I appreciate your sharing about the people you visited and making them so real to us.
    I am sure your next trip to the grocery store will remind you of your days with the people you met.
    Peace,

  9. Rosie, I am so jealous! Africa has been on my bucket list since I was a child – God’s country – perhaps some day. I enjoyed the updates on Dominican life every so often.

  10. Thanks for sharing. I am friends with sisters from Nigeria. Wonderful spiritual people. I also have a cousin a missionary for years in Africa with her family. Bless you and all. Bunny O’Brien, OPA,ct.

  11. You are so right, Rosie. We will indeed be unpacking the trip for a very long time. The graced mystery-God revealing God, the abundance amid scarcity, our US values vs those we spent time among. The question for me that looks huge is: how is my prayer different?

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