Thursday, January 22, 2015

At home but still a guest

At Home but still a guest

We are approaching the seven-month mark since we made the journey across the ocean to move to our new home in South Africa.   It has been an amazing seven months.  But as things become more and more familiar and we expect the unexpected things another temptation arises.   

That temptation is to try and solve the problem we see or perceive to see.  For example it is quite typical to see children with no shoes on out in public.  Now it is easy to see that and think they don’t have shoes I need to buy them shoes.  Now that may be true in some cases but in other cases they don’t want to wear shoes.  They don’t like wearing shoes. So what I perceive to be a problem  actually may not a problem at all.   In my own childhood during the summers I spent more time than not barefooted but I had perfectly good shoes in my closet I just didn’t like wearing them if I didn’t have too.  In some cases the same is true here. 

We have to remember no matter how long we are here no matter how well we learn the culture and the language that we are still guests here.  I would never enter your house as a guest and tell you how to arrange the furniture or tell you about a particular repair or up-grade you needed to do unless I was asked for an opinion.  The same needs to be true as we continue to live our lives here.  We do not need to offer up solutions to problems that we perceive unless specifically asked about it. 

We are thankful that we have Godly mentors, co-workers and friends who are both South African and American who we can go to with our questions and perceptions. And who we can ask questions and process what we are seeing, hearing and feeling.  They help us to understand what we are seeing and process how we should react.

This week we were in Swaziland for a couple of days.  While we were there we got to see some pretty amazing projects that are in progress.  Three different churches that are in various stages of building projects, it was amazing to see how God is working and how His people are responding.  This weekend we head out to another District Assembly.  We are also gearing up for the Regional Conference in March.  We have started dedicating an afternoon a week to studying Zulu. 

Until next time remember before drinking a liter of water on a road trip you should find out if there is anywhere to stop along the way.