Friday, August 29, 2008

"I'll be 23..."

"Christ is wisdom and He is our deepest need. Our inner restlessness
can only be pacified by the revelation of His eternal friendship and
love for us." – Margaret Bottome

"My home is God" – unknown

These phrases have a lot of meaning for me as September rolls around
and I begin to get a little restless for home. Hauling buckets of
water for daily bucket baths and other washing coupled with a diet of
rice, ugali (which I don't eat), more rice, and more ugali has left me
with impressive muscle tone, a trimmed down figure, and an insatiable
longing for some protein and the familiar comforts of civilization.
This morning as I was telling all this to God, He highlighted these
phrases in my devotional and reminded me that no matter where I am,
it's only His companionship and His unfailing love that satisfies all
my longings and restlessness.

I know I haven't blogged in a while, so let me fill you in on the
events of the past month. First, let me assure you that my life sounds
infinitely more dramatic when recounted here. In reality, most days
pass in quiet monotony out in the seclusion of the bush bush where it
feels at times that the world could fall apart around us and life here
would go on unawares.

With the newlyweds away on honeymoon and several summer volunteers
returning to the states and another staff to college, it left just
three of us here with all the kids who are home on school holiday. I
have missed the company of fellow Americans, but it has been a good
opportunity to bond with the kids and we have had a lot of fun.
Normally they would be going for special tutoring but the government
has banned all tutoring in Kenya on account of the fact that high
school students were protesting their exams with rioting and the
burning of dormitories. We've watched lots of movies in the evenings
(when we have electricity) and shelled and pounded maize during the
day. We even made chips (that's fries in Americanese) one night. Last
week, I had a special "girls' night" at my house with a Bible study
and a movie. The movie and discussion were fun, but I think more than
anything the girls just enjoy being able to torment the boys for at
least a week afterwards with the secrecy of what exactly goes on at
girls' nights. It's enough to make one of the boys, Jillo, proclaim,
"We should get to have a boys night with Emily too!"

This week, Bibi's (one of our girls) mother died unexpectedly. Last
year, when I was here her brother was stoned to death by mob justice,
so it was particularly difficult for Bibi to lose her mother now. How
do you tell a young girl like that that she's never going to see her
mother again? I have never lost someone close to me like that and felt
completely inadequate to comfort her through all this. All I could do
was hold her and pray trusting that the One who was "a man of sorrows,
acquainted with grief" lives in me and that somehow she might feel His
embrace.

Tomorrow I'll be 23…that reminds me of a song and Michelle and
Cairo…anyways, I am celebrating with a trip to town. I have been
looking forward to this for a while although I was a bit worried it
might not happen after our usual taxi driver hit a motorbike nearby
and fled into hiding for fear the villagers might kill him. In
addition, there have been several days that Ukunda and Mombasa have
been out of petrol (translation: gas) which has forced people to buy
it on the black market meaning sky rocketing transport and food
prices. But I am here, and I plan to get my fill of protein and dairy.

We have another youth camp on Saturday. And in a few weeks Grandpa and
Grandma are coming to visit and then I'll be heading back to South
Africa and back to teaching. I can't wait!

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