A Mind Opening Adventure

My name is Chinua Hawk , pronounced (shin-wah) and I am a singer/songwriter/worship leader from Atlanta, Georgia. I experienced my first missions trip in 2011 with my brother Obie when we traveled to Swaziland Africa with an org called, Heart for Africa. That trip was mind opening to say the least.

I say mind opening because I didn’t realize how cut off I was from the suffering occurring globally. It’s not that I didn’t know things were happening, I was caught up in my own bubble. I was living life on my terms satisfied with the status quo complaints of everyday life. To be completely transparent, one of my first questions before going on this trip was “what will our accommodations be like?’ Yes, you got it. I was more worried about my comfort than I was the actual trip.
As the weight of what we were about to do set in, my worries were lessened. I recall my last thought before embarking on this trip was that I’d need to go grocery shopping as soon as I returned because there was no food in the house.
While sitting in the airport waiting to board our flight I was hit with a myriad of emotions. I didn’t know what to expect. How would I feel? How would I handle seeing what I was warned I may see? How am I going to feel as an African American man heading to the continent of Africa for the first time? Would it feel like home to me? I had so many questions.
At the time I weighed over 450lbs and I wasn’t even sure I could handle the trip physically. Would I even be able to do anything helpful? I had no answers and was completely unsure at every turn. I only knew that I was supposed to be there. I had to relax and let the why be revealed to me in the creators divine time.
I spent the first half of the trip watching the skies for Unicorns and Rainbows to make some magical appearance welcoming me with the secrets of life. Okay, not really. BUT, I was waiting with great expectation for God to reveal himself to me or show me the reason I was there. I was advised by a friend to stop searching and start experiencing. She told me to be present.
So I re-entered the present and realized that I’d been missing the creator the whole time. He was the joy in the faces of these orphaned children that I had the pleasure of hanging around. He was the hope they carried in their hearts as they navigated this world without parents and without respect.
I thought I was coming with so much to give. I never expected that I would have received so much.
I came back to America a changed man. My mind, eyes, heart and soul had been opened in a way I had never imagined. Look at all food I have here I thought as I surveyed my surroundings. I guess I don’t need to go grocery shopping after all.

So here we are, heading to Kenya this time for another adventure. I’m excited to see what God will do. I’m wide open, 150lbs lighter and ready.

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