I almost titled this post "Easier to Leave." Almost.
The most popular comments I've received in response to joining the PC and going to west Africa are something along the lines of,
"Oh, you are brave.
I could never do that.
I admire someone like you."
And while I haven't thoroughly thought through it, my knee-jerk, raw response is that the comments are all just mumbo-jumbo to me. Since it's a sleepless night, you get to benefit from my unfiltered thoughts.
Quite frankly, I hold the position that it's harder to stay.
Sure, I'm leaving convenience, comfort, and familiarity. I'm moving to a place that I've never been to and can only infer from others experiences about daily living. I don't speak the local language, and I will stick out like a weed among lilies. Loneliness is hard enough of a battle here; it will only intensify there. The likelihood of being connected to a local body and strong fellowship is realistically slim.
But, for the time being, I'm over it. Stay posted: I'll probably eat these words in 6-8 months.
Last night I stayed past midnight talking with a couple from church. We mostly talked about missions (local and cross-cultural) and making a difference with the resources, gifts, and tools that we've been given. In places where it's most needed.
Switchfoot wrote, "When success is equated with excess the ambition for excess wrecks us."
The constant question in the back of my mind is, "What is all this for?" What am I doing with what I've been given? What is the end goal?
We are all wonderfully and fearfully made. And differently.
I understand what you're trying to communicate. And yes, I agree, that transitioning to the life of no electricity or running water, parasites galore, and limited access to those who are most important to me is not going to be a stroll down Easy Street.
But who cares in the light of eternity?
I have no intention of being prideful or rude. I am above no one. God has created us fearfully, wonderfully, and differently. May we all cling to Him and follow confidently where He is leading our individual lives.
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