South Africa 2018

This was trip number 4 for me but the most important one yet. I hadn’t been to my favorite place on earth in over 3 years and during that time I was chasing a dream that I knew would never come true and a dream that I knew God didn’t want for me. In January someone actually asked me “When are you going back?!” and I quickly replied “haha never!” I thought I was done, If I left the country something would definitely go wrong. I didn’t trust the people in my life enough and I didn’t trust God enough. Then I lost everything. I surrendered to God and asked the simple question, “What now?” and boy did he show me what he wanted me to do next!

Michael (our team leader) posted the trip on Facebook and I had made the decision to go back to Mafeking, South Africa within 12 hours. It will always go down as the most impulsive decision I had ever made. I had 12 weeks to raise $2950 an somehow I did it. It just came. God knew I was a mess and couldn’t stress about fundraising but also knew I needed this. Even up until the moment I got on the plane I was just lost and not living my life in a way that God wanted me to. I walked on that plane as one person and walked off ten days later a completely different person.

When I was 19 I spent a month in Mafeking and the house we stayed in became “home”. I was sitting in the living room with the team on the first night and just burst into tears because I just couldn’t believe I was back. How did I go from living with a guy six months ago to sitting in the Mafeking house again? I remembered the girl I was when I was there last and I still can’t believe I forgot all about her. I used to tell people that I would move to Africa so fast it’d make your head spin. I totally lost that.

Walking around a village with a camera on my shoulder felt good. I felt like Taylor again. I didn’t really realize how much I had changed and been traumatized by life until I was in the village and I was actually feeling afraid to connect with the kids and agriculture students. God tore those walls right down though and I was feeling like myself again by the end of the week! The real healing happened with my team. There was a group of us that stayed up until 3am every night and I had a total blast. Delirious laughter is the best! I haven’t laughed that hard in my life. Sitting on a front porch in South Africa with a cup of coffee, a million candles, and good people is the best medicine.

It all felt like a dream. I was expecting to come on this trip and hopefully heal a little bit and then go home. But God had so much for me on this trip. I healed an insane amount, got the old Taylor back, and came back with a new family.