Friday, March 28, 2008


March 23, 2008

I have been in Africa now for almost 7 months. Sonya and I are heading home very soon (43 days!). My thoughts have changed from, "Will I ever make it to the end?!" to "Will I be ready to leave?" Such conflicting emotions --- I am stuck between two worlds different like night and day. I love both and have gotten to the point of understanding Paul when he says in Philippians,

"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (vs 4:12-13)

Both lives are enjoyable as long as I'm living for and with God. I am content...

...whether lying on a cushioned bed with clean sheets at night with a fluffy pillow or lying on a reed mat outside under the stars with Kristel's dark arm slung over me.

...whether cooling off with a flick of the air-conditioning unit or by pouring cold water from the well over me.

...whether throwing my clothes in a washing machine or scrubbing my clothes in a bucket outside and letting the sun dry them.

...whether starting IVs with the protection of gloves or starting them with the freedom of no gloves so I can feel the veins better.

...whether sick at home with the flu or sick in my hut with malaria.

...whether scrubbing the shower with a sponge and cleaner or sweeping out the leaves in the shower with a handful of grass tied together.

...whether eating every food imaginable at anytime of year or eating rice and mangos every day.

...whether dressing up nice and fixing my hair or not even seeing myself in a mirror for days.

...whether wearing comfortable jeans or skirts and scrubs every day.

...whether eating salad with a fork or with my fingers (Sonya and I agree it's much easier with our hands --- we want to walk into an Olive Garden when we get back and eat African style)

...whether jumping into a clear blue cold mountain lake after hiking all day or jumping into a muddy brown river, watching out for hippos, after riding the horses there.

...whether eating at a table with chairs and separate place settings, or squatting on the ground around a communal plate of rice bowl and a communal bowl of water being passed around.

...whether riding in an ambulance with the excitement of going on a call as an EMT or wheeling a patient into the African OR with the excitement of scrubbing in and assisting the surgeon.

...whether reading with a big light, illuminating the whole room at night or reading under the dim light of an oil lamp.

...whether driving around in a car or walking everywhere.

It's not about what is right or better than the other. It's about being content wherever God sends me. I am very excited about being home soon, and seeing everybody, but I also wouldn't mind staying here longer, being able to tangibly see the need.


  1. Oh how I know those feelings. Isn't it incredible how you can grow to love a place and people who at first seemed so different? It's amazing when that feeling of homesickness is replaced with a fear of never seeing these new people again on this earth? It reminds me of Jesus' trip to this world, how awful and foreign it must have seemed, no one spoke his heavenly language, no one understood how bad things were. By the time He left He loved us so much, that it broke His heart, He died for us. How excited He must have been to go home to His Father, but how He must have longed to stay and try to show just one more person how much He cared!
    Well I'll stop rambling. We're sure excited to see you back here, hear your stories and see lots of pictures! We'll be praying that your last 43 days are wonderful ones, filled with splendid moments!
    Lots of love
    Amy & Jeremy

  2. Good to hear from you again. Sarah, when you go to Olive Garden I want to be there so I can take pictures of those watching you eat!! I can just imagine the looks on their faces. Sure do hope we get to see you when you come home.
    You are in our prayers.
    Darlene and John

  3. I think that it would be fun to eat with my fingers in a restuarant, but I don't think I'll do it.