Six Months In

Africa Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 16 › view all entries

What to say?  I just finished a letter to my family, and posting another online, and I'm noticing that my letters are getting westernized.  I find myself writing about coffee shops and food, options and variety, availability that I am not used to any more.  We got a taste of that in South Africa while there from early-Jan to mid-Feb on Expedition 2, and now back in Zambia, that’s what stands out in my mind to write about.  Strangely enough ministries are becoming second nature now.  They aren’t scary or instilling a little touch of dread at preaching or witnessing or being in front of the crowd.  They’re less stressful.  I’m sure there are people in the world who don’t find ministering difficult, but for the most part - at least at the beginning - it is a bit terrifying.  There is something that holds you back.  I bet it’s nearly always fear and insecurity: fear that you don’t know enough, fear of offending, fear of rejection maybe.  It can just be so much easier to sit and be comfortable and not say or do anything.  Unfortunately, too much of letting opportunities to reach out pass by makes you forget how to find your voice when you realize that you do actually want to use it.

Well, I can say six months.  Six months of discovering where you’ve hidden your voice and how to use it is a good length of time.  I’m sure it is different for everyone, but that is how long it is proving to be for me.  I find myself forgetting what is different.  At the start of AQ I talked on and on about Eagle’s Wings and Lifeline, and differences in culture.  That was what was new and different, unusual, challenging.  Now those are the things that are becoming normal, a part of life, expected - though certainly not boring or unchallenging.  They are simply a part of me rather than foreign.  Sharing passages and encouragement with HIV and TB patients with Lifeline is becoming a highlight of the week, as they and the volunteers are an encouragement to me as well: seeing them light up as they hear the Word, as they begin to think of the Kingdom and focus on what is eternal.  Cultural and language barriers with Eagle’s Wings children and teachers are becoming easier to overcome as I am more and more convinced that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, that we are all united on a level that is so much higher than culture or oral communication. 

Most letters I receive include a line about how “much is the same,” “not much to talk about,” “you know how it is”.  I sit down to write and stumble over the same thoughts: I am excited about ways that God is moving, but He is always moving… so where do I even begin?  Isn’t this the norm?  It is.  This is life now.

travelman727 says:
What a fantastic blog :-) Thanks for serving our Lord and for making a difference for the kingdom of God :-D
Posted on: Jan 25, 2010
PastorMark says:

I find myself looking forward to your return to Walker, hearing your stories, and learning how God has been at work in your life. It's so fun to ask your Dad about you at our Friday morning Bible Studies. He's so proud of you.

God bless,
Posted on: May 07, 2008
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