What I Learned in Africa – Part 1: God is an Incredible Artist

I took about 6 pictures in succession of the sun rising over the mountains in the east. This was the final one.

I took about 6 pictures in succession of the sun rising over the mountains in the east. This was the final one.

As I explained in my previous post, I just recently returned home from a mission trip to Malawi, Africa. I, along with a team from my church, were there to work with Blessings Hospital, one of very few medical facilities in the country of Malawi. We had a great week there helping some of the poorest people in the world get medical attention that they desperately needed. Although I went there to help those less fortunate than I am, I actually found myself being blessed by the experience as well. I learned a lot of things about life (and our God who provides it) while I was there, and I must admit that I came home changed as a result.

The place where we stayed in Malawi offered us the perfect vantage point to watch the sun rise over the mountains in the distance (as you can see in the picture above). Everyone who had been on this mission trip in years past had told me that I needed to experience the sunrise in Africa just once, and I would never forget it. They were absolutely right… I was definitely not dissappointed. Believe me, the pictures that I took of it are nothing compared to witnessing it firsthand!

I'm not sure exactly what species of moth this is, but I've never seen one of these in the States. This dude was sitting just outside the doorway of our guest house one morning.

I’m not sure exactly what species of moth this is, but I’ve never seen one of these in the States. This dude was sitting just outside the doorway of our guest house one morning.

In addition to the African sunrise, I also saw a couple of odd, yet beautiful things close up. One morning, as I was walking out of our guest house, I noticed a beautiful flash of color land on the pavement just outside the door. Upon closer inspection, I noticed it was a moth unlike any I’d ever seen. It had orange and black striping on its wings, similar to that of a bengal tiger. Very unique!

I’m sure it is no surprise to you that while I was there, I had to deal with all sorts of flying, creeping, and crawling insects. There was no short supply of spiders, ants, and flies. However, none of these were too tough for us to handle. For the most part, they kept to themselves and we left them alone (except for the ants, which kept turning up so often we HAD to deal with them!).

Here's another creature I've never seen in the U.S. This is some sort of beetle with what looks like a letter "Y" on his back. I saw a few of these during my week in Malawi.

Here’s another creature I’ve never seen in the U.S. This is some sort of beetle with what looks like a letter “Y” on his back. I saw a few of these during my week in Malawi.

One of the more unique insects that we saw was this tiny beetle that had what looked like the letter “Y” on its back. One of our nurses saw one and picked it up so we could get pictures of it. Like the moth that I mentioned above, this was something none of us had ever seen before, so it was neat to see such an odd creature.

So… a sunrise, a moth, and a beetle… what do they have in common? They’re all beautiful examples of God’s artwork.

I find it interesting that it took going to the other side of the world for me to notice the beauty of something that I could see every day if I want to. Think about it– the sun rises every day, but very rarely do any of us take the time to enjoy it. It took seeing the sunrise from a completely different perspective to really appreciate it for how beautiful it is!

What’s even more interesting to me is that I am surrounded by amazing, beautiful things every day– things much more complex than a sunrise– and fail to pay attention to them. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I look around and see all the negative things in my world, completely ignoring the blessings that are there.

My point? God has given us a lot of beautiful things, strictly for us to look at them and appreciate their beauty. LOOK AROUND AND ENJOY!

By the way, one morning right after I got back from Africa, I got up early enough to watch the sunrise. You know what?

It was a beautiful sight here, too.

This entry was posted in art, creative process, Life in General, spirituality, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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