I enjoy writing, and I think Gavin would say the same. We love telling the story of what God is doing around us in this different context in which we find ourselves. We love sharing about new things in Central Africa. However, as we drive down the road passing men on bicycles carrying their load of charcoal to sell for the week or stop to purchase bananas from a basket on top of a woman’s head or drive down a bumpy, pot-hole filled, dirt road to get to one of our Nazarene churches or get greeted with kisses on our cheeks, it all seems so natural now. Even our son, Connor, when asked about his favorite food, will say “Fish!” But, he’s not talking about boneless, skinless filets. He’s talking about whole fish, including bones and eyeballs.
So, when we go to tell stories that might capture our reader’s attention, we find it more and more difficult. What can we share about that we haven’t shared before? What new insight did we learn this week? Our vision has become a bit more blurred. The lines of “difference” become a bit harder to see. In fact, you may have to tell us when we are doing something that seems out of place for one culture or the other, because we forget where we are. Now, there are obvious differences between Central Africa and our home of the United States. But, I’m talking about words we might use (open the lights vs. turn on the lights), using a fork and knife (or our hands) simultaneously vs. using a fork and knife then setting our knife to the side, driving a bit crazier and using our horn more vs. calmly waiting on other drivers around us.
Our lives have changed. We’ve adapted. We’ve adjusted. And, I think we’re a bit different.
We’ve owned a monkey.
We have four dogs and three turtles.
We’ve had 23 people in our car…at once.
We eat whole fish with skin, bones and eyeballs.
We’re pretty good at taking bucket baths.
We might be guilty of standing to close to you when we talk.
We show up late on purpose.
Gavin carries five different currencies in his wallet.
We may not have stories to share all the time. But, we love where we are. We love seeing the hand of God move in people’s lives. We can see how God has brought us here, walked with us and continues to lead us. May God give us all the ability to embrace where He’s brought us and the courage to be different for the sake of reaching some with the Gospel.