africa · Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Break

Usually I join up with Lisa-Jo with #FMFParty, but she’s taking a break this week. So some wonderful ladies decided our prompt should be break, and we are meeting at Trending Mama’s blog for a change. It’s like a #FMFPicnic at a friend’s house. 🙂

So today we’re writing on:



Originally, I had planned to write about resting and taking a break from things. But no, that’s not where my words are coming from today.

My heart’s been broken, friends. <-Click to Tweet


No, I didn’t go through a breakup, and I didn’t lose the love of my life (I have yet to find him). But my heart is broken over these beautiful children. A class of kindergarteners who worked with me in the garden in my Kalahari village. The older Garden Club kids who sat through lessons and garden activities.


I felt so helpless after I analyzed their weights and heights. I found that over 60% of them were wasted (indicating short or long term malnutrition) and about 35% of them were stunted (indicating long term malnutrition). I saw the wasted bodies, the yellowing and brittle hair, and the distended bellies. And I saw my heart break.

Living among poverty like that is crushing. I went back to my house each night and had dinner, but many of my students didn’t. I woke up and had breakfast with coffee, and many of my students had to wait until the free school lunch to eat. I saw disease and infection sap what little health these children had.


My heart is still broken. I tried to teach them how to grow their own food, and some of them really got into it. I pray they remember it, and that somehow, it helps them feed themselves.

I pray for them. Now, that’s all I can do.



7 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Break

  1. Oh Jen, (((hugs))) It is so insanely crazy to sit there and wonder if you can afford to sponsor a child or do a mission trip or offer your help in some much needed way and beg God to use you only to be left with this soul-hole that hurts almost as deep as the hunger of those who you are trying to save. Remember though, you planted the seed and you taught them what you could and while your heart breaks you also have to find it in you to rejoice in the knowledge that you likely changed at least one life. ONE life that will go on and help his/her family. One life that will have children of their own one day who do not hunger because of what you taught them years ago. The others? They will all remember you in one way or another, as the woman who tried. The woman who came and showed them unconditional love not because she had to or was forced to but because she really does love, YOU really do love and they know that and they will carry that with them and their hearts will be mended even if their bodies aren’t. I pray you realize the impact you have made now and in generations to come. I pray that as you continue to minister that you are able to be at rest and at peace knowing that you are doing what you were created to do.

    1. What kept me going through my 2.5 years in Africa was “that one”. Even if only one person was impacted by any of the projects I did or things I taught, all the hardship, loneliness, homesickness, illness, and injury will be worth it. I can’t wait to get to heaven and see where these precious children have landed.

      You nearly move me to tears with your words today, Marisa! Thank you….so much encouragement here! I pray about where God will send me. I know missions is an intention of His for me…what, where, when, I don’t know. I’m waiting for my marching orders! But some days, I just want to GO NOW and not wait on His timing.

  2. I don’t have adequate words for this, Jen. The suffering of children breaks my heart. I can imagine what you felt each time you saw them. I’m praying!

    1. It was difficult, but I feel blessed to have been a part of their lives. I went there to help them, but ultimately, they helped me, and opened my heart.

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