Just yesterday we met a doctor working here for years who cautioned us against coming.
“Do you really want to come and get frustrated, disillusioned and burnt? If you do, by all means come.”
He’d only been hanging on because he’d uprooted his kids too many times and felt led to stay on for them to complete high school.
“I’m just telling you, it’s not worth it. Why serve here when you can offer so much more elsewhere?
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the idea of “meaning-making,” and how that looks like in different contexts.
If you carry a worldview of efficiency, then living in a developing country is a waste of time.
If you carry a framework of ethics and righteousness, then living in many parts of Africa can be discouraging.
What if we lived from a worldview of obedience? Then perhaps, in spite of the suffering, the inefficiencies, the “lack of impact” in the way we imagined, it might still all be worthwhile.
I admit, the first few days I was here, I was disheartened by the “lack of choice” here.
When you enter a grocery store, a school, a hospital, what strikes you in the face is a dire sense LACK, compared to what we have back home.
But I’m learning- that if we are to move forward, it’d be best to lose that intuitive comparison and simply, carve out the best life we can with what we have, and trust that God has provided EVERYTHING we need to be in His will.
While walking through the aisles of the little grocery store, my 6-yr old Sarah-Faith asked, “Mama are you ready?”
“Ready for what?”
“Ready to try new foods. Because I’m ready to adjust and try new things. Are you?”
Knowing we might be here when it’s her birthday next year, shes always started to plan her birthday party with the local offerings.
Instead of LACK, she saw POSSIBILITY.
I want to learn from you, sweet child.
Before I left Singapore, I made a mental list of my favorite things I’d have to give up-
chocolate granola, Greek yogurt, Hershey’s dark chocolate… and just when I left the last store we’d visited, I spotted a box of chocolate granola— not my favorite brand but the words spilled out involuntarily- “Oh my goodness, God loves me!”
To which my 4 and 6 year olds responded by picking up a bag of locally made biscuits each and also cried out, “God also loves me!”
I hope you’ll never lose yr wonder for gratitude. 💛💪🏾