I looked and there before me was a great multitude
and no one could count, from every nation, tribe,
people, and language, standing before the throne
and in front of the Lamb.
by James Reppart
Africa, a land of indescribable beauty! A place that cannot be expressed through the simple words of our language. A land that can only be expressed through one's own experience. A place that will take away your breath, but give you the first real breath of life you have ever drawn into your lungs. A place that will break your heart with the despair and hurt of its people. But a place that will also give your heart strength and endurance through the amazing hope and joyful spirit of the people that inhabit its land. With scenes of God's beautiful creation painted onto a canvas that stretches to the horizon, Africa is by far the most awe inspiring and beautiful artistic expression of our creator. It is this beautiful land that I am privileged to call home.
However, like many of the children of Africa I am not lucky enough to live at home. I am a lost child of Africa. Contrary to my feelings in the past, I no longer despair over the fact that I am no longer living in Africa. For if I had never left, I would never have known how amazing and how much of a blessing it was to have been raised there. Instead, I now see Africa as an amazing place that I wish to share with those that are close to my heart. A place that I hope one day those that I love will be able to experience as I have experienced it. I am thankful for the time I had in Africa, and look forward to and long for the day that I can return. But until then, I will simply remain thankful that I ever had the chance to be there.
James Reppart, 19, is a business major in his sophomore year at York College in York, Nebraska. James grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and Pateras, Washington. He is the son of Jim and Laura Reppart, who lived in Africa 20 years: 4 years in Cameroun and 16 years in Kenya. James states that his outlook of Africa makes him very positive about life. This essay was used with permission by the author.