Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I’ve been a youth pastor for 14 years now. This was my longest single stint out of the office in my career. It amounted to like 3 1/2 weeks in Africa. More like 5 1/2 out of the office if you count summer camp and the week before since I was only in the office for like 2 days. Much of that time was “on the job”, but regardless, upon returning to the U.S. on Tuesday night, I have had some observations.

  • When the U.S. passport agent said to me, “welcome home,” I teared up. After 6 trips to international airports, someone telling you they were glad to have you in their country evidently rang some unspoken need deep inside.
  • Don’t bitch about what you don’t have; doing so does not promote peace, but only reinforces your discontent.
  • HEY AMERICA: the internet is lightning fast, your roads are amazing, your gas is cheap, your closet is overflowing, your food is plentiful, your wallet is fat, your electricity is amazing, and your water is a luxury the rest of the world longs for… just to name a few right off the top of my head.
  • I waste too much time, resources, and money on that which does not matter.
  • Money or distance is not the solution to your problems. It is also not the solution to Africa’s.
  • There is no limit to what one can carry on a bike, small moped, or on your head. Here’s a short list of what I saw carried on at least one of those items: 3 wood couch frames, glass panes, 400 pounds of water, massive amounts of fruits and vegetables, an entire convenient store, large bundles of firewood, 3 other people, live chickens, and a HUGE live pig tied to the back of a moped (it also was peeing as we passed by. Thankfully on the other side of us)
  • Observation: Americans might be fat because we eat too much processed food and don’t have to walk far enough to get our day done. Just a thought.
  • If you want to know what first century Jerusalem was like, just go to the villages around Lake Victoria and watch people mend their nets, farm their food, ask questions about Jesus, and bring you their sick to be prayed over.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I donated to the trip and have loved reading the blog entryies…is there any chance the group will be sharing pictures and experiences in the video cafe or something?

  2. We have one planned for our team toward the end of October. I’ll see if we can’t do another night for the larger body of donors and prayer warriors. I think that’s a good idea and something our church would be blessed by.

  3. I just found your blog today. My wife and I moved back to America this year after living 2 1/2 years in South Africa. Its interesting to see the things that strike you about life after coming back. I agree with them whole heatedly.

    What was the purpose for your trip? I am sure if I read on I will find it, i’m lazy.

    I am still processing the way my life is different after living there and coming back to the States. I hope you enjoyed Africa and that it sticks with you. Cheers.

    Chris Holohan

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