i’m in Africa.
i’ve been here for just about 24 hours now and i’m not mentally firing on all cylinders just yet. blaming it on travel-brain. or something of the sort. but i’m here and getting somewhat settled.
and i’m thinking through various ideas and ponderings, which i’ll try to make sense of.
- a flight delay in washington gave me time to chat with a Mexican girl who is going to be spending the next 2 months in Kenya volunteering in an orphanage and an Albanian man who lived in Frederick for a few years but is on vacation to visit family back home. he says the thing he missed most about Frederick was Brewers Alley. i didn’t have enough time to clear that one up for him, but we were able to talk a little bit about why we were going to be living in Africa for a few months, as he was pretty shocked that we were both doing something he thought was “really crazy to do right now.” i know many other people are thinking the same thing. as the girl and i were talking through broken English and Spanish, we kept coming back to the same answer: we want to do something. we can’t do everything, but we can do something. we can all do one “something,” and that makes everything a little better. it just so happens that my “something” means living and working in Niger for 5 months (whatever this may look like) and her something meant working with kids who are dying from Malaria. but we all have one something we can, should, and need to do.
- as i was preparing to leave for Niger, the question i was asked most involved one word, a word that is on the tongues of almost everyone in the world: Ebola. i talked about it using numbers: “only 3 countries are affected, Niger isn’t one of them.” ” i’ll be 5 countries away from where it is.” “the mortality rate is 55%.” “the 2 Americans in Atlanta are so very quarantined. it will not cause an outbreak in the US.” “50 more CDC workers are going to increase protection and aid.” etc. etc. but tonight i talked to a missionary who had to leave Liberia because she isn’t a medical worker. tonight i watched her fight back tears because she couldn’t go home and she can’t do anything to help the people she loves. and then i was harshly reminded how when we talk just using numbers, we desensitize and distance ourselves from the reality that almost 1,200 mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers have died because of this virus. countless more people are left orphans, widows and widowers. tonight i was reminded that people choose to do brave and scary things every day just because they have a deep care and concern for humanity in general.
- i’m (finally) reading the book/pamphlet “Lord, Teach us to Pray” by Andrew Murray and i realized (actually, truly realized) that during this time here i have to slow down. i have to listen. i have to be still more, be moving less. and part of me (the part that some would argue has attention problems) is nervous about what slowing down will mean/do in my life. i’ve been feeling for years that i had to simplify. slow down. get less busy. because busyness does not equate to productivity. and maybe it’s very naive for me to just be understanding this now, but i have a feeling God brought me here to slow me down a bit. and that feels uncomfortable for this fast-paced girl.
- i taught myself how to bleach fruits and vegetables today. that sounds weird.
- i need to find a bicycle.
(bryan & katie torwalt- Holy Spirit)