February 13, 2015

Im sitting here in our new house with our living room aaaaalmost finished being set up, this is the only room that looks livable and complete at the moment.  I’m sipping my tea and enjoying the cool breeze and warm sunshine coming through our huge glass doors. I’m sitting on our couches that we got from Del and Arielle and LOVING our new, much more quiet neighborhood.  I am loving that there is 95% less dust and dirt than our last apartment,  and that I can actually walk around our apartment without always having dirt on my feet… I’m not actually wearing my inside shoes!!  This is big people!!

Living Room

Living Room

I am enjoying the lack of vehicle fumes flowing through our doors and windows, and I am enjoying the nice ventilation as we are on the 3rd floor.  I am enjoying the fact that we moved into a newly remodeled apartment and even though this is Africa and the toilets and faucets are wobbly and already breaking, I LOVE my new clean walls that I get to decorate with things I have gathered.  I love that our host family whom we met last week is coming to see our new house today, and that we are gonna go spend the day with them.  I am excited about the way that God is working.  I struggle with feeling like life is disorderly and crazy when our stuff is spread all over our house as we’re trying to figure out where to put stuff, and figure out how life is going to look.  But I am excited about how God is working (because it’s obvious that he is).  I am excited to consistently go to our new church, and I’m excited about getting to know people, I’m excited about building relationships with local people.  I am nervous about learning this culture because I know that I will be put into awkward positions, however I am also excited to learn and experience things I’ve never experienced before.

Kitchen... We put in all the  cupboards and appliances

Kitchen… We put in all the cupboards and appliances

February 21st, 2015

We have been in our new house and new neighborhood for a week and a half now.  For some reason I thought that I might be able to unpack all our stuff and get our house in perfect order within 5 days so that we could start class again on Monday with a clean slate and nothing left to do.  Apparently that was a completely false assumption, and our house was nowhere near ready for Monday morning.  I was going to be doing homeschooling and we were going to be ready for our new normal routine.  Every day last week I was tired and didn’t feel ready for the day when it arrived.  French felt like it was dragging on and I didn’t feel ready for my sessions.  My language helper and I were falling asleep!  It has been a busy week and I actually forgot that we just moved and that we are actually going through some of the symptoms of transitioning again, even though we still live in the same city there are all kinds of new things to learn as well as the new things that we are jumping into now.  I also realized we were in the middle of transition when I started missing my friends, I always miss my friends, but I seem to really miss them when I’m transitioning.  So… I cried several times this week missing time with friends family and church, I sort of just wanted to go back where I’m comfortable with people I love, doing the things that I know how to do.  That makes sense right?

After just 1 1/2 weeks of living in this neighborhood we have spent a little time with our host family and we are officially excited about getting to know them and learning from them.  TJ has already been to a funeral with our host dad.  Today was our 3rd Sunday in our new church.  This morning I really enjoyed the worship which I didn’t understand, but was still able to worship God with my heart and speak to him about many things on my mind.  The worship time lasts about 45 min long, which seems long to a lot of us Americans, but I love that time is not an issue because that is not what is important!  I was filled with many emotions this Sunday.  Last Sunday I stayed after church for a meeting with the wives of the church that help organize things and visit people once a month to check up on them.  Today I had a small connection with all of those women because I spent a couple hours with them last week talking about different things.  I recognized all those women in church today and I was excited about getting to know people and being in the same place every week.

After church today there was a meeting for the whole church, but before the meeting there was a meal for everyone.  I wanted to help when we arrived at church, but decided not to (I should have!) But I did end up going down a little early to see if they needed help.  I washed cups.  That’s pretty much the only useful thing that I did.  I found that with everything that needed to be done or that I could do, I JUST didn’t know how to do it.  I was feeling like an incompetent person, at one point 2 ladies gave me a command for something I could do and I didn’t understand what they were telling me to do, and I think if I didn’t feel under pressure I would have realized what they were asking me, but I missed my opportunity… I didn’t understand!  They wanted me to bring the HUMUNGOUS bowl of food into the other room, a guy did it instead (which was probably better because it was a really big bowl and he was stronger than I)  So in the other room they were taking the rice and meat and spreading it on several big platters (people sit in a circle and eat off the same platter), I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do in that situation either.  So I decided I would just watch what the women were doing so that I might learn for next time.  It was a humbling morning for me because I don’t know how to do so much, I was feeling like a child in a woman’s body.  I realized I just haven’t been in many cultural situations and I pretty much know nothing.  It’s like if someone comes into our culture as an adult, we don’t think to tell them how to wash their hands because that seems obvious, well maybe they need to be told how to wash their hands because they have never done that before the way we do it.  I am like a baby in a new context and I have so much to learn!  I knew I would be starting at the bottom but I was feeling it today.


After lunch I wanted to help clean up because I felt like I didn’t do much before the meal, so I also ended up just watching because I didn’t know what I was doing.  They told me that the wives helped prepare the meal and that they were cleaning and that I didn’t need to help, they said this is for the young girls, I said “I’m young!”  they said “Your married!” I guess there is a separation there?  I don’t understand the depth of that either… again… Sooooo much to learn!  I stayed anyway to watch and said I wanted to learn how to do it so I could help next time.  They were not shunning me, just letting me know that I didn’t need to help.

At the end of today, I was once again reminded about why we’re doing this.  Well, God brought us here, he burdened an unnumbered amount of people to support us, pray for us and stand behind us as we do this, God did that.  He has guided us here, and there have been so many steps involved!!!  He didn’t do all this for nothing, he has a heart for the lost and his name WILL be glorified.  We are here so that God’s will might be done, I can’t tell you all that God is going to do, but I know with out a shadow of a doubt that he brought us here, and we are following him!  The goal is to share Christ and make him known to the unknown, but what we are continuously doing is following his heart!