Day 16-Friday, July 23rd
July 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
I really love the fact that I get to be here for a month, and I chose to come by myself instead of with an organization. I feel like I’m just living life here, and I get a real picture of what life is really like for the m’s here. There is a lot more down time than I expected. Teaching and working at the clinics/feeding are all done in the morning to early afternoon. Most afternoons are free to do whatever. The 1st week I was here, I didn’t know what to do with myself because Courtney wasn’t here, I didn’t know the city or language, and I didn’t really have any friends I could go hang out with. The city shuts down from 12-3; everyone leaves work and goes home to eat, nap, or do whatever they like. I took advantage of the “designated nap time” and I spent most of my time napping, journaling, and reading. It feels good to be living a simple life (for a month at least). No responsibility, no errands to run, no pressing schedule. I like that the people who live here have ample time to be intentional about building relationships and friendships with the nationals. I think it’s really important to take advantage of that time, and I’m encouraged to see the girls that live here to be working that out. They have a huge heart for the unreached people, and I’m glad that I can tag along for a month and take part in that. It take a lot of time, effort, and initiative, and I’m learning so much about being effective here. Here are a couple things I’m seeing:
1. You have to know the language: I’m not saying that the Father won’t work or is hindered by language barriers, but through this time I’ve seeing that strong communication is vital with the people you are trying to reach. It takes time to learn a new language, and now I see why the company makes their m’s do 9 months of full-time language. It’s pertinent to their ministry.
2. You have to be intentional: It would be easy to let excuses, doubts, or fears keep you from building meaningful relationships w/ people here. Again, those things take time and effort. Culture, language, food, and social interactions are all different. You really have to immerse yourself in the people and have that desire to reach out, love, and care for them. And I must say, it’s really easy to love the people in this region once you get to know them. I’m really challenged by their openness, acceptance, and hospitality.
3. You have to believe that the Father is at work: I think it’s easy sometimes to get caught up in what I want to see, what I want to accomplish, and my hope for what will be done in this place. When really, my focus should e on taking advantage of the opportunities He has given me to share and serve the people that I get to interact with everyday and He has put in front of me ie, the school staff and teachers, the m’s who are working here, etc. He has given each of us a sphere of influence for a reason, and it’s important to put into practice what it means to serve, love, and put others in front of yourself. Not just for one month in Africa or 3 years in China, but daily living.