I’m debating. Should this be my last post in this series of honest posts? Should I close here on a Friday. This may be a good time to step away and feel resolve. It seems apt to remember the words of William Cameron Townsend, the founder of Wycliffe. He said,
“The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner.”
Praise God! Do you know how relieved that makes me feel. How thankful. I know from learning a second language and having to speak it daily that nothing delights me more when I return to speaking in English with family and expats. I love the description ‘heart language’ because it settles my soul and gives my heart peace when I speak my mother tongue. So the idea of people having to read the Bible, the very words spoken from God in anything other than their mother tongue in a rudimentary sense makes me sad. I’m thankful God called me here because I know I otherwise wouldn’t come long-term. I’m proud of the work Drew is doing and that I can apart of it through supporting him.
I mentioned that culture shock comes in waves. I believe it never goes away but lays dormant and jumps up like a cricket when you least expect it. But today, which isn’t yesterday, I find myself in a peaceful place. What comes along with my trouser-wearing emotions is that from day to day I can be in a totally different mood, ya with me ladies??? So managing the culture shock can be tricky. Who wants to ride two roller-coasters at the same time?
This week has been an adventure of it’s own. At some point I was feeling like bringing all this to the surface may have caused more harm than good. I was laying awake at night not able to fall asleep hashing it all out again. Wondering if I had truly made the right decision to go public with my thoughts. Another friend put something on Facebook that was interesting (and throughout the past 8 months I had also considered this a couple of times): Attack. We are prime candidates for spiritual attack. We are vulnerable, an easy target.
I was feeling uneasy and then Drew suddenly walks in to the house on Tuesday morning and says he doesn’t feel good. He went down hill super fast with extreme aches, fever and a headache. By the evening we had decided to go to the lab and have him tested for malaria the very next morning. Sure enough he did. Like I said…attack. But God is so gracious. He has given us the wisdom to not mess about with this stuff. We know to go directly to get tested at the lab; they sell the medicine in the very next window. So by Wednesday evening he had already taken two dosages of the medication and was feeling considerably better. No fever at least. Malaria isn’t scary and totally uncomplicated when you act fast. I urge ALL doctors and ALL nurses to get over here and do some teaching! I know it’s not that easy but it would make a MASSIVE, continent-size difference. I’m sorta joshing (about heading over here, that is). But it could be that simple, if you want it to be.
At the end of this week of blog posts I’m left interested and inspired to get connected with other missionaries and see what I can learn. I’ve caught the blog bug. I found myself on another friends blog. She is a missionary and I love the way she writes. So eloquent and graceful yet honest, comical and sweet. She is a very sweet lady in fact and our time as friends could be likened to a boob graze. But I am going to put her blog in my feedly and keep up on her thoughts because I wish I could hang out with her more.
Have friends like that? I have a lot. They are scattered all over the world. People I literally met briefly, but either bonded with in the blink of an eye, or I marveled at them and wished I could just be in their bubble for the rest of my life. In any case, my friend reminded me of the verse in James 5 that says,
“For this reason confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed”.
Today, in that peaceful place I feel a sense of healing, of a starting block laid out in front of me that has the word START written in big white letters. I feel like this is our new beginning. We have reached the place where we can start reaching out to people. Helping the local people with their needs. School fees, medication needs. Drew and I must be on the same page because he was telling me today in the midst of his bout of malaria that he felt the time had come to truly step out and meet people in their time of need. He too thinks we needed the time up until now to find our place in this seemingly crazy new life. God has brought us here. He is giving us the strength to endure.
I also read another blog post this week and it used the words ‘live’ and ‘with grace’. I want to think about THAT. What does that really mean? Please leave a comment if you wanna give your 2 pence. I also want you to ask questions, leave one here, email me or message me on fb as some of you already have. I love that we can all learn from each other. That we are all in our unique places in the world, all experiencing different situations and can share and learn from real people. You have no idea how many times I want to message people with really random questions but hold back because my questions are so random.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. Thank you to all the people who got in contact, encouraged me and prayed for me.
I’m going to leave you with the words from my fav worship song right now. It’s from Hillsong United. It’s my prayer.
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery
In oceans deep my faith will stand
And I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in your embrace
For I am yours and you are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and you won’t start now
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters where ever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet would ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my saviour