Monday, August 20, 2012

A new friend recently messaged me to say that he had read my blogs, from the beginning all the way through to the most recent one, which I have to say, is not very recent. Around the same time I started clearing out some old pictures from my cell phone, which has been with me in Zimbabwe for the past 3 or more years. Together these rather unrelated events caused me to stop and reminisce about the “good old days” of my life here in Africa.

Those of you who know me well already know this, adjusting to life in Harare (the capital) of Zimbabwe, has not been easy for me. The years I spent in Mkhosana (a ghetto near Victoria Falls) and the rural areas surrounding it are treasured memories. Sometimes I ache for the days when I walked long, red dirt roads just to see which children God would bring me to.

My life is different now, things are a bit more scheduled and organized and I often have to “clean myself up” for meetings with people who are important in the world of humanitarian aid. My degrees and my “unusual” experiences of living with poorer people of Zimbabwe allow me to help people develop programs that hopefully will prove more helpful to the people who need it.

I have made a commitment to make a life here in Zim, and it is a beautiful place with beautiful people, however that doesn’t mean it is easy.

I am back here now, after some time away in which I was able to rest (a little) vacation with family (a little) and help my grandma move out of our family home and into her new adventure in a new community.

I am making my rounds, getting in touch with the people I work with, the people I socialize with and learning what has changed while I have been away… things change so quickly!

For better or worse, I am home!

With Love From Zimbabwe,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ok, so now that Chik-Fil-A "Appreciation Day is over" I would like to share a little of my heart about this.  I am a Christian, and I try to be the best follower of Jesus I can.  This does not mean you can guess how I vote, nor what I believe.  Many of my Christian friends look at me as a liberal.  Many of my liberal friends think I am too conservative.  I believe the Bible to be true.  I believe it is a higher law, meaning I attempt to follow what is expected of me in the Bible even if the laws of the land are more lenient.  I don't feel like I get a free pass just because something isn't illegal.

I am a Christian. I believe it when Jesus said that the GREATEST commandment is to love God and the second GREATEST commandment is to love everyone else as much as I love me.  I am not perfect. I screw that up every day, BUT the greatest thing about Christianity is that I am afforded grace to cover my EVERY mistake. 

I am a Christian.  I didn't eat at Chik-Fil-A yesterday.  I drove past one, and I could have. But I chose not to.  I am not boycotting Chik-Fil-A.  If I boycotted every corporation that said or did something I thought was ugly or immoral I would have to be naked, hungry and dirty pretty much all the time (I am a terrible gardener and a worse seamstress).  I didn't eat at Chik-Fil-A yesterday because I felt that my job as a Christian is to help people meet Jesus and love Him like I do.  I feel like the only way I can do that is to love... in a way that seeks out those who might not know him over those who already do.  That's the whole 99 for the 1 thing for those of you who are into the Bible.  I love my gay friends, as much any other friends. I am going to say something that will irritate some of my conservative Christian friends... I believe in equal rights on EVERY LEVEL.  I think everyone has the right to be married.  NO MATTER WHAT. Now, I said earlier that I follow a higher law.  There are laws in my countries (USA and Zimbabwe) that allow me to do things I think are immoral... so I try not to do those things, but I do not feel I have a right to say that MY MORALITY should dictate the choices of others.  I am a firm believer that if the law alone dictates my actions, it's not all that pleasing to God anyway... but if love for HIM dictates my choices then it pleases Him greatly.  For example, pre-marital sex is legal in the USA and in Zimbabwe, but I feel that it pleases God greatly that Nyasha and I have chosen NOT to have sex until we are married (He's not on FB or else he'd be blushing right now) If having pre-maritial sex were illegal and we made the same choice, it's not really anything special because even those who don't follow Jesus follow most laws.  Do you get my train of thought? Following a law doesn't make a Christian, following Jesus does... I think Christians should be more interested in helping people follow Jesus than creating/enforcing laws that will be broken anyway.

Ok that was a tangent, but here is my summary.
*I am Christian.
*I love "the gays" as my grandma would say.
*I also love the straights. I love the liberals and the conservatives... although sometimes it's hard to love either of them.  I love the blacks and the whites and the Asians and the Indians and the Latinos. 
* I believe Chik-Fil-A's owners have the right to believe whatever they want.  So does Jim Henson, JCPenny's Ben & Jerry's and anyone else who cares to share their beliefs.
*I believe people have the right to fund organizations that they like, even if i don't like those organizations.
* I believe life is too short to examine everything with a fine tooth comb which means sometimes i might spend money at a place that funds something I don't care about or that I don't like. Forgive me.
***I believe that Christianity is about love not hate... that means that even if I don't agree with you and your choices (pre-maritial sex or whatever else) your desires ( over eating) or choice in life partner (an abusive man) I feel like my best choice is to love you through it, not to make a blanket statement that will hurt you.
*I didn't eat at Chik-Fil-A yesterday, but I didn't judge those that did either. I know many people chose to do so without hate in their heart.  For those that felt judged while drinking your sweet tea, I hope you will use your Christian heart to forgive.

So I am a Christian. I believe we all have the right to say what we think, although sometimes I think it's beneficial not to.  I believe that everyone in the USA should have the same liberties, (it wasn't that long ago when my upcoming marriage to a black man would have been called illegal and immoral and he's the most moral and decent person I know) and I will continue to eat at Chik-Fil-A, although I made a conscience decision not to yesterday because it was such an emotional hotbed that I can't imagine how my gay friends could look at me eating that yummy chicken sandwich and see the love that is in my heart...and the love in my heart will always be the most important thing, maybe because I believed it when Jesus said it was a pretty great commandment, and I also believed it was the only way people would be able to identify me: not by my politics or tattoos, but by my love. 

John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”