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Africa Travel Story

One Christmas Eve in Africa

Africa travel story 

I experienced thirteen Christmas Eves in Africa, but one in particular remains the most powerful memory in my mind.

The afternoon was hot and dry, my flip flop clad feet coated in powdery red dust as I tromped across our missionary compound.  Once again I was out searching for adventure.  The Bible School where my dad worked and taught was about a mile away, but I had friends there and it was worth the walk.  I was 11 years old.

I remember the sun was beginning its decent in the sky throwing deep musky hues of oranges and reds across the sky.  As I neared the buildings where students of the Bible schools families lived, I could see my mother through the thick bases of the mango trees. 

A young girl lay motionless through the open doorway of a room, the only door being a small curtain hung in front.  I watched as they pulled a white sheet over the head of my friends’ older sister, and it was then that I realized the girl was dead.

Africa Travel Story - the Night Continues...

It was a strange and surreal evening.  We were accustomed to certain dark events taking place as sickness was common in the area.  I walked home.  The sun was almost set as I came in the house.  Mom didn’t really tell me much about the girl death.  I believe she had a long term illness of some sort.  Nothing more was said about it.

We had a wire Christmas tree hanging in our living room.  For 13 years we drug the dusty branches out of our large shipping container behind the house.  The shipping container was the size of a semi-truck and had large locks built in.  It was in this that we stored years’ worth of clothing and basic supplies.

My brother and I were chilling out on the living room floor watching the movie To Catch a Thief.  Mom was cooking dinner and I could smell the fudge she made for Christmas morning festivity.  I never knew what a rock my mother had been throughout those years there.  Looking back now I can see the heavy burden she many times held of maintaining our happiness under very difficult circumstances.  She was a rock.

The night wasn't over...there was more to our Christmas Eve to be encountered than I was prepared for...

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