Monday, October 17, 2011

The Very Worst Missionary

Friends of mine recently told me about a blog called The Very Worst Missionary.  I thought,  “no fair, that’s my title”. I’ve been a self-proclaimed Very Worst Missionary for awhile now. I can’t believe someone beat me to it.

I’ve explained before how God literally kicked me into missions. I never planned or expected it. I never thought that I fit “the mold”. I still don’t. I don’t know what you picture when you hear the word “missionary” but my picture looks nothing like me. Aren’t missionaries like super Christians, with capes, a KJV Bible and a whip to ward off all snakes and vermin? Because I’m not that. I know my weaknesses. I’m not spiritual enough. I need to know more Scripture. I struggle with sin. I don’t know all the answers.

I’m inadequate.

But, aren’t we all?

When God calls us to something, it’s overwhelming. I’m a details person. My mind immediately goes to all that needs to be done. To-Do lists abound. The questions then come. How on earth will all of this work out? How is this going to be possible? How can I do this?

On my own, I can’t do this. On my own, I would fall flat on my face.  On my own, I would crumble. I am so weak.

I went to a conference last week. God taught me so much through it, a big one being: He is present in our lives. Let me be more specific: He is present in my life.

God’s not sending me back to Uganda alone. This school isn’t getting built by me. It’s not me who will be teaching these girls. It’s not my love that the girls will experience.

It’s not about me or my ability.

God is present in my life right now and won’t leave. Ever. He will be present as I move back to Uganda. He will build this school. He will teach these girls. He will love them unconditionally, far more than I ever could. In all of my weakness, He is there.

He is, in fact, my strength.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Homesick Double Agent

As much as I have adjusted back to living like an American, there are times that I am overwhelmed at how different my two lives are. It’s in the little things.

I was looking out the window at my friend’s house recently. It was an average American neighborhood, really. The road was nicely paved. There were sidewalks lined by the well-kept green grass yards. A squirrel scurried around the yard, looking for food. Children played across the street. A man jogged by. One could barely hear any distinct noises. The air-conditioning in the house was keeping everyone cool on that summer day. The houses had been planned to be there. The neighborhood and the surrounding streets connected. It was well planned out. It was all so…so…American looking.

There is no such comparison to a Ugandan neighborhood. There were no dirt roads.  In fact, there was little dirt to be seen. There was no trash littering the ground. There were no walls surrounding each house. There were neither bars on the window that I was looking out nor bars on any doors or windows in the neighborhood. You could not hear the sound of traffic, horns blowing, music blaring, cows mooing, chickens squawking, goats bleating, or taxi conductors yelling. There were no open fires burning trash (which meant no smoke blowing into the house…what a novelty). There was no loud revival/church service/Muslim call to prayer/concert/neighbor parties/any other excuse for a loud speaker to project the event into your living room. The houses weren’t haphazardly put in place.

There are times where it’s hard for me to believe that these two worlds exist on the same planet. They’re so different from each other. It’s hard to explain this to people as there’s no way to fully describe it. Though I can try to put into words what life is like in America to Ugandans but they can’t possibly understand. I try to explain Uganda to Americans and the same problem is there.

I have two homes and both are home to me in different ways. 

It kind of makes me feel like a secret agent living a double life. I just need a gun. And Chloe talking into my ear. And Jack Bauer. I need him.

They say that home is where your heart is. It’s true…and my home is a land with dirt roads, livestock running around and the most beautiful people in the world.

I’m homesick.