Thursday, October 14, 2010

Africa is Different

Another story from long ago….
March 2006

I love being with Pastor Chris and Rhoda. I am trying to adapt to life in Africa. I am in Zambia, and not really feeling settled yet, I know that I am supposed to be in Zimbabwe and I am trying to be patient and to wait for God to send me across the border. I am so close, I could walk there, and yet it seems so very far away!

It is hard to get in touch with everyone because we either have to use dial up internet at home that is so very slow or wireless internet at a café that is so sow and unreliable. I am lonely and homesick but trying to push through.

All of Pastor Chris’s family is so great to me. They are so patient and they laugh at the fact that I am amazed by the lizards and some of the other things I see running around the house and yard and they really find it funny that I am so afraid of the spiders, and bugs and RATS!

Rhoda is so hospitable and every meal has been served with such love. I am trying to eat everything that they cook for me (but they feed me way too MUCH and way too OFTEN) but I have to be honest… not everything is amazing… some things are scary.
It seems as if every night that I taste some meat that I don’t recognize and I ask, “Rhoda what kind of meat is this?” the answer is usually something I would rather not hear, like, “intestines or stomach or livers” of some sort of animal.

But tonight was different. This evening when I got home, I saw that we are having fish for dinner. Delicious Bream from the Zambezi. Finally something familiar—I can eat fish, I like fish! I noticed in the pan that the WHOLE fish is cooked—from the head to the tail. Different than what I am used to—but fish is fish, right?

But then, just as we were sitting down for dinner, the phone rang and it was my boss, Glen calling from the States. As I listened and answered his questions, I kept thinking “they are probably waiting for me for dinner, I need to go.” But after about 30 minutes I could hear that they just went ahead and got started. It was so nice to talk with someone from the States, that I almost didn’t mind missing dinner with the family.

After I got off the phone, Rhoda apologized for the family eating without me and then said, “but we saved you the best part” I looked at my plate and there was the head of the giant tasty Zambezi bream – it’s mouth open seemingly mocking me and it’s eye staring straight at me!

I didn’t really know how to eat the head of a fish, but with the whole family sitting around talking to me—I did the best that I could!
I wonder how long it will be until I can cross over the border to the place that calls to my heart. I am waiting (sometimes patiently, sometimes not). Zimbabwe here I come!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have a new friend who has made a commitment to move from the States to spend a few months in Zim. After less than a week he called and changed his ticket to return home immediately. After spending a little time with him it became clear that he was homesick. My friends and I embraced him and loved on him and are trying to help him settle in here. I am glad that he changed his mind and decided to stay where God has called him, but it was a good reminder for me that we all get homesick.

Even after four and a half years in Zimbabwe, I have days when I am lonely for my friends and family and homesick for America. Today is one of those days… nothing is really wrong, so many things have gone really well today… and yet I am still just a little sad in my heart and I know that the reason for that is just that I am far away from my HOME.

This past week we started 2 new sessions of Training Hearts for Jesus. We have one group of parents meeting on Mondays and Fridays and another group meeting on Saturdays – I have been so pleased with the turn out and the reputation that Training Hearts is developing in Zimbabwe. In order to meet the needs of all the parents who want to be in the class we have to run two at one time. Please pray for me that I can keep up with the added hours to my schedule and give these parents all the time and effort that they deserve, and that God will use this class to help the people who come to it to make the changes their families need!

For more information about Training Hearts for Jesus or to find a class in California, check out this blog