[the africa diaries] day eight: a retreat to remember

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. director of family ministry at st. edward's episcopal church. president of fistbump media, llc.

November 24, 2009


Good morning Mount Kenya!

The picture above was the view through the front door of my tent as I woke up in the morning. As the sun was rising enough to light up the sky, it still had not risen enough to creep over the top of Africa’s second highest peak.

We got up early so that we could go out on another safari drive, which was our first daytime drive. I didn’t think that I would see very much would be able to top our experience last night, but I knew that it would be good to finally see everything in the light. But nonetheless, I was ready to enjoy our day off. No work. No travel. Only rest, and enjoying God’s creation.

safari-mudpit-kenyaOur morning safari drive was fantastic!

I could not believe how many animals we encountered as we drove through the plains. We saw lots of zebras, giraffes, gazelles, warthogs, and yes… we lucked out by coming across some more lions!

These big cats are simply magnificent when roaming their natural habitat. However, what was most amazing to me was the respect that all of nature seemed to have for the lions.

We first came to a mud pit where a giraffe and some warthogs were getting some much needed refreshment. But well before we noticed what was about to happen, all of these animals came to attention and began to scatter as a beautiful lioness approached the area.

It was obvious to us that something must be going on, but we had no idea what it was. Then she emerged from bush…

lion-kenyaI think that each one of us was just in awe over this creature as we crossed paths. Then just when I thought that the moment couldn’t get any better, a male lion came into view walking the same path as the female that we were just admiring.

When I looked at these magnificent lions, I could not help but to think of the Biblical references to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. When Jesus is referred to as a Lion like this, it reveals things like His majesty, and His power and might. But I also started to realize a few other things about the presence of Christ as we sat the the presence of these lions…

  • First of all, His presence demands attention. Even before he actually arrives, others in the area notice that He is coming.
  • His presence also impacts the environment. Even the atmosphere seems to change when He is around. There is an electricity in the air.
  • And finally, it is clear that He is the leader, and everyone else either leaves or follows.

This is a revelation that I will never forget, and I never cease to be amazed at how much we can learn about God through His creation like this.

We saw many other animals that day, and every moment of this retreat was simply breathtaking. It was great way to get some much needed rest, but it also recharged my faith. You cannot be in a place like this and not notice two important things…

  1. sunset-african-plainsThe balance required for all life. Creation (or Intelligent Design, or whatever you want to call it) never seemed more clear to me. Any other explanation just fails to explain both the complexity and balance that exists for all life. Random chance also never seemed so improbable.
  2. The beauty of God’s creation. Everything from the sunrise over Mount Kenya to the sunset over the African plain sang the praises of our Creator! I also better understand how Jesus could make a statement like “even the rocks will cry out!”

God certainly revealed Himself to us on this trip, particularly on this incredible weekend retreat! He is amazing, and I am now even more amazed with His creation! Amen!


To view the entire set of photos from this retreat check out the safari retreat set on Flickr.
Check out more from this series in the africa diaries.


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[the africa diaries] day eight: a retreat to remember

by Dan King time to read: 3 min