Saturday, October 25, 2008

The little things...

I am taking a day off. It's been a while.  I hit the ground running when I got back from Kenya 2 weeks ago and it seems my body is starting to take action.  On Thursday I started to feel congested had a little cough etc.  So I took the warning and scaled back the calendar (because wouldn't you know I had a jam-packed weekend!)

Just so you know scaling back the calendar doesn't mean I am sitting on the couch all day.  I had bills to pay, laundry to do, a grocery list to make, budget to work on...

Around noon I realized I needed to use my printer, which is when I also realized I still needed to go to the apartment complex office to retrieve the new print head that canon sent me this week.

When I walk in the woman who is working is discussing an apartment with potential renters.  I notice in their accent that they are not from the USA.  She steps away for a minute and I humbly ask where they are from.  Where?  Kenya.  Yep.  Then I proceeded to welcome them to town in swahili and the woman employed by Management walks back over and is stunned.  We of course continue our chat in swahili about where I learned Swahili, how I was in Nairobi 2 weeks ago, and how I spent the last two years in Tanzania.  I smiled.  

I secretly hope they move in, because I would love to have chai (the real stuff mind you) on my porch and talk with her all day long in swahili...even if it is the Kenyan version.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

I was reminded.

The reader I use to keep track of the blogs I want to keep up with every now and then recommends a new one.  
Today I was reading Joey's blog...actively lurking mind you! She goes to Crosspointe and I have talked to her on 
a few occasions so I don't feel like a complete stalker...anyhow, I came upon this post she had written several months back, and I was reminded.

God Loves Me as Me. I needed that reminder.

Long time no run...

So today I finally woke up refreshed...no signs of jet lag, and with a possible turkey trot in my future I decided today was the day to start the regular jog again (that rarely seems regular because of my travels.)

Except, I can't find my gym card or my ipod holder....


Thursday, October 16, 2008

1/3 third of the world.

Lives in extreme poverty.  Not the poverty that means they don't have cable tv, but the kind of poverty that means they might get 1 meal today...

What is your role is finding a solution?

Grumpy-pants

My mom always said it wasn't nice to call people mean names.  But I am afraid I deserve the title this week.

It is part of the adjustment, but it isn't fair to everyone else.  I have been the Queen Grumpy-pants since sunday.

It is hard to explain, but I will try.  I have several questions swirling in my brain:
1.  Why did I have to leave Africa (both this time and a year ago?)
2.  Why do we so often think that Christianity is about us/me when it really isn't...or so I am coming to believe.
3.  How do I wrestle with the fact that I live in the wealthiest nation in the world, when much of the world lives in extreme poverty?
4.  How do I respond to the impoverished?
5.  What is my role in teaching people at Crosspointe and around the world of our responsibility to love others?
6.  How long Lord?  How long will it take for the great chasm between the rich and the poor will be but a small crack in the sidewalk?
7.  What now?

And I don't mean to be grumpy, but I take each of those questions very seriously so in fact, I am not angry or upset with anyone, instead I am deep in thought, asking the God of the universe for His plan, His ideas, His solutions... His answers to the questions.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The hardest part

The hardest part for me of any overseas trip is coming home.  

It has little to do with jet lag and having to convince your body that it must yet again switch time zones.

It has little to do with that little bug that gives your belly a hard time in the first few weeks.

It has everything to do with the heart, and it usually takes me a few days to recognize how wrecked I am when I get back.

17 of us spent the last two weeks experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  We saw joy lived fully, we saw love extended, we saw poverty at its depths, and we saw how corruption impacts a country...a district...a village community...a ministry...a child...us.

And with these highs of highs and lows of lows, we have so many stories, so many faces, so many inside jokes, and so many hurts.  Most of which are hard to put into words.  We come back all geared up to share these stories, we think about them all week, we can't wait to tell people how awesome it was...and then it strikes us...we don't know HOW to tell them how awesome it was.

We are changed.  We can't tell you how.  All we can say is that poverty is no longer an abstract idea, but it has the name of Timothy, Geoffrey, Jennifer...and so many more.  We embraced kids who live in conditions unimaginable to us, we walked the streets filled with sewage and had to face our own fears when encountering Kibera.  

The hardest part of coming home, is trying to figure out how our changed selves fit into the life we left two weeks ago.  It is difficult for family to embrace the new us, it is difficult for us to embrace our warm showers and very comfortable beds when we know how people living in the 3rd world are lucky to have a blanket or a mattress.  We have a hard time when our kids whine because they want a different color of crocs, when in reality I saw kids with no shoes this past week.  We are changed, and the challenge now is to figure out how our changed self continues on in the world God has chosen us to live in.

The challenge is to not judge others.
The challenge is to not go back to our old selves.
The challenge is to figure out how God would use the new us to impact the sphere of influence He has placed us in, and how we can motivate change in the 3rd world.  That is the hardest part.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I'm still here!

Our internet situation in Cheppema was shady at best, and we ended up having to sign on through a cellular connection, which cost a fortune!  

So I am not blogging, but you can still read about the past week through the eyes of many of our teammates on the team blog at http://www.cheppema2008.org

I will be sure to write more about the week from my perspective after I return to the USA on Thursday!