Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Year In Africa

One year ago today, we were stepping off an airplane and embarking on a new journey in the DRC. While a lot of this new journey was unknown, we were excited for the new adventures ahead. This is where God had called us and this is where the Church of the Nazarene needed us. We were ready!

In thinking back about our year so far, there is so much we’ve learned, so much we’ve experienced. Here’s the short list:
  • Give us an emotion and I’m pretty sure we can give you an example of when we’ve experienced it.
  • Driving is…different.
  • Church services are long, but filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and joy…and dancing. Lots of dancing.
  • We now own a cat. That’s something I thought we’d never say.
  • There are now two little girls in Lubumbashi named Jillian and Macy.
  • We welcomed our first Work and Witness team from Point Loma (although they have been coming here for a couple years) in May.
  • We watched the first school be built and opened on the District where we live.
  • We saw one of the 7 natural wonders of the world in Zambia; Victoria Falls.
  • Jill visited South Africa and our Regional Office for the first time.
  • We’ve been able to witness our children learn and thrive in another language (with better accents than us).
  • We’ve made lifelong friends that we will forever consider family.
  • Macy had strep throat and malaria…at the same time. We witnessed God’s hand of protection and healing on her.
  • We’ve seen the effects of war on a developing nation and how God can use the church for peace and reconciliation.  
  • The standard of health care has been hard to adjust to, when you know what else exists. A lot of families we know have lost a child, many in this last year, from curable diseases.
  • Coming to appreciate electricity and figuring out how to survive without it for random hours or days at a time.
  • Coming to appreciate water and learning how to keep extra on hand when it’s all gone.
  • We’ve eaten fish…head and all.
  • We’ve learned to eat rice and beans with our hands. It’s harder to get in your mouth than you might think.
  • Being more and more amazed at what women carry on their heads. And, what men carry on the back of their bicycles.
  • The one part of life that is not laid back and slow paced is driving.
  • Gavin has had 30 men at one time push our car out of the mud. They had to pick it up to get it back on the road.
  • Experiencing a deeper and more intimate relationship with Christ, truly and genuinely relying on Him for our every need.
  • We’ve seen God calling young and old pastors to service and continued preparation. 
We don’t know what 2014 holds, but if it’s anything like 2013, we know that we will be truly blessed. 

                                          To God be the Glory, great things He has done!

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