Thursday afternoon I sat inside the Notre Dame Cathedral and cried. I just felt so weak and so heavy. Monday had brought the news the cars wouldn’t be stuffed by Thursday which meant I wouldn’t be leaving Friday morning as planned. That meant we were back to the original plan where I would stay behind until it was finished.
Somewhere in the last few months I’ve found myself saying, “I’ve got this because He’s got me.” But sitting in that cathedral I didn’t have the emotional strength to say it. I’d heard too many, “But there’s no Ebola in Benin!” and said too many goodbyes and my heart was still going full speed in the blender. And now I was going to be alone for the first time in over a year. So I just sat there, too discouraged and exhausted to even pray, just sort of muttered something about needing God to show up right then and sent some messages to friends asking them to pray.
And then He did it again, one last time for the Benin Advance.
A big miracle and a few hours later I was standing in the port watching the first Land Cruiser drive into the container. A few hours after that I was seeing the rest of the team off at the airport. Then a busy day of last meetings, bank trips and moving. Finally late Friday night I delivered the last letter and turned in the keys to the team house. Halfway back to the car I stopped in a moment of shock and looked at Roguy and said, “I’m done. That was it… C’est fini!”
And while I still feel like I’m living in a dream waiting for my heart to catch up to my reality I know that, “I’ve got this because He’s got me”. Tomorrow I can board the plane and leave Cotonou knowing that every objective was accomplished… Even the ones no one anticipated or planned for. I can leave knowing that relationships are intact and strong. I can leave knowing that our work was not in vain. I can leave knowing that we still dream big dreams for Benin. And I can leave a piece of my heart to come back for someday.
So to this beautiful city and the beautiful people here I say, A bientot et que dieu bénisse!