Today I decided to watch Disney’s “The Lion King” to get even more excited for the upcoming trip (as if it were possible to be even more excited than I already am…). I came to an interesting realization while watching.
The Lion King first came into theaters when I was in 4th grade (which makes me smile, because that’s the grade I teach now!). It was immediately my favorite movie ever, and still remains my favorite Disney movie to this day. Because of my love for the movie, I checked out books and videos from the library about Africa…pretty much anything I could get my hands on. The library may as well have just put my name on the Animals of Africa video, since I rechecked it out so many times.
Then, partway through my 4th grade year, we got a new student in our class. Her name was Shannon, and she had just moved back to the United States from Togo, Africa, where her family had been missionaries. She told me all about life in Africa, and I was fascinated. We were fast friends.
So, my desire to see Africa for myself stretches back to when I was 10 years old. Interestingly enough, the same year The Lion King is re-released on DVD, I am headed off to Africa on a mission trip. Coincidence? I think not.
Now, I realize that what we’ll be doing while there is hardly the sight-seeing adventure you think of while watching The Lion King. In fact, where we’ll be staying and working, many people have never seen an elephant or a lion in their lives. We’ll be teaching VBS, building various projects, distributing medical supplies, and even help mud a hut home for someone in the community. I know the idea I have in my head of what Africa will be like will be drastically different from what I experience while there. In the words of my favorite song from The Lion King, I must “be prepared” for anything that comes up, and be flexible with whatever we’ll be doing.
I think the unknown is what makes it all so exciting. And also what will ultimately make it a life-changing experience. I cannot wait! 🙂