My senior year of high school I moved to Northern Michigan to live with my Aunt. It was such a great year I stayed with her my first semester of my freshman year. But then I went home.
I remember going home, and how odd it felt. I remember that strange feeling some describe, it is home, but it isn't, things look similar and smell similar but yet it is different now. Something changed.
And so has Arusha. I called this place home for two years. I poured my heart into the people, many hours of sweat, many tears, and so much of my soul. Returning brought some strange emotions, emotions similar to my returning home after being away in high school. It felt familiar, looked familiar, smelled familiar but yet, it felt so different. This place is no longer home, and I am honestly not sure why that surprised me, but it did.
Even though Arusha isn't "home" today was filled with all those things you do when you first come home. Finding old friends, reconnecting, laughing, listening to what has gone on in their lives, seeing the changes in town (they added another stoplight, and some streetlights for driving at night!) and laughing, laughing a lot. Today I was able to see many old Tanzanian friends and boy were those hugs great to receive. I was also able to see many old expat friends, and the tea we shared on their patio didn't even compare to the sweetness of being in their presence.
I am thankful for the last 24 hours. I am thankful for the conversations I was able to have, the people I was able to see, and the healing that has taken place in my heart. I am grateful for open communication, sharing visions, dreaming, and remembering where we have come from. It has been a joy to return and visit old friends, hear their stories, share mine, and relish what God is doing in and around us. It has truly been an incredible day.