You know them. Those glowing, gushing couples who just found out they are having their first bundle of joy. They are the ones who always seem to gravitate toward the baby section of Walmart and Target, the ones who all of a sudden are baby proofing every electrical outlet in sight.
Most of my friends in both Africa and America are in this very specific, very identifiable phase of life: expanding the family.
It seems to me, as an innocent observer of the process, that “expanding the family” phase is the point of no return, the point where everything changes. Baby talk becomes a second language, and all of a sudden the hobbies you once adored are stuffed in the back of a forgotten closet in the garage.
Even years and years later, you still recount endless tales of things that happened while your family was growing. It seems to be the most exciting, terrifying, exhilarating, and rewarding phase of life. You love more than you thought possible, and for the remainder of your life, you care more for someone else than you do for yourself.
Earlier today, our Partners 4 Africa team worshipped with the Nketa 8 Church just outside of Bulawayo. We worshipped in the yard of a faithful couple, and nine people responded to the message of God’s love. So we headed out to Nkulumane to baptize them and welcome them into our family.
When we reached Nkulumane, we were not alone. Twenty-five souls were embraced into our family today, from churches and communities all over southern Matabeleland.
As Christ’s family, we only have one phase. And we live in it for our entire human lives.
We are all about expanding the family. When we are accepted into Christ’s grace and forgiveness, everything changes. And perhaps when we are all in heaven together, we will recount the endless tales of the grace God extended to each of us, and rejoice together for the rest of time.