As I get ready to jump on a plane and fly back to the states (..tomorrow!! To attend my brother’s wedding!!!…), I thought it would be good to pause and try to summarize what the last couple of months have held. I haven’t posted much lately so this will be long, but maybe if I can sit in your living room for a minute, we can enjoy a coffee together and some good catching-up. It’s been a while.
The past two months have been a mix of struggle and encouragement for this African life.
Looking through a microscope at the component parts that make up any given day, I see a lot of my plans frustrated. There are days when every-other-thing I set out to do is prevented because of a technical difficulty, a weather difficulty, a scheduling difficulty, an I-am-overheating-must-stop-and-sit-down difficulty or a miscellany of other difficulties. Have you ever tried to run when you’re waist-deep in water? Or maybe have you had one of those dreams that you’re stuck in slow motion? Yeah. The struggle is real.
Yesterday this was especially evident as I rushed to wrap some things up before I fly out. (Still not finished..)
But, when it feels like plus d’effort = plus de resistance, I stop, breathe.. and consider my God who is walking through this with me every step. What is his heart? What is he doing?
No matter how amazed I am sometimes that anything gets done around here, I am learning this: a personal, intimate, growing, loving, truth-based relationship with my God, AND personal, intimate, growing, loving, truth-based relationships with the people around me is the goal and purpose, the very reason why I work to support quality health care and a well-run guest house. God is restoring people to himself and he invited me to be involved. And thankfully, his plans are never frustrated.
Life here is a ministry. I’m constantly reminded of the medical compassion ministry happening in the hospital. I’m often reminded of the church-building ministry of chaplains, evangelists, pastors and church-members around me. As for me, I work with a closer circle of people every day with this guest house, keeping it running effectively, trying to help it run efficiently. My ministry is right there –loving Jesus, loving people; being reliable in my work, making progress, helping to pull the load, but not at the expense of important relationships.
I adore the people I work with in the Guest House. A few of us have a weekly meeting to figure out logistics and operations type decisions and then day-in and day-out I work with the employees who do the never-ending work of hospitality, always with a smile. Getting to know them all has been one of my favorite parts of life here.
Thank you for praying for my entrepreneurial friend. She is encouraged and doing well in the circumstances! Her attitude is really positive, even though pulling this off is a lot of work, especially in the beginning. She has a big new opportunity with a supplier, which is great but will require good management. I am happy with her and for her but I am cautious (nervous) that it could become a big new stressful burden for her. I am praying, Jesus please give me wisdom. A friend sent me a good book about micro-finance ministries. I have a lot to learn..
Seasons are coming and going but every day the weather here feels the same, so it seems like time isn’t passing. It’s odd. I guess the only indication lately is that the Mangoes are falling all over the ground. (Best mangoes I have ever tasted, btw).
Seasons here at the hospital are also soon changing –there are several missionaries whose time out here is coming to an end. Three families leave on furlough and three are closing the Togo chapter in their lives with more permanence. We will miss them! I will miss them. Goodbyes are never easy when you’ve been walking closely. Never easy.
A couple of them entrusted parts of their job here to me. So, with an increased work-load and preparing for my own visit back to the states, plus the burden of preparing to say goodbye, I have had a lot on my mind.
Each day here, when I wake up in the morning and I think, “Here’s to another day in slow motion,” I’m reminded that I have work ahead of me that I can purpose to do with diligence, and it almost definitely will not go as planned, but somehow everything that needs to get done will get done and I can only hope that I know Jesus more and loved people well in the midst of it all.
Thanks for a chance to share my heart with y’all. Maybe I’ll see you soon while I’m stateside and I can get caught up on the theme of your days! I would love to hear from you either way. And after a short stint back in the States, I hope to send more frequent updates on my sprint through the waist-deep African water.