Sunday, August 15, 2010


Well, I'm now back. 15 weeks in South Africa, 19 hours of flight time, and I'm back in Virginia. I'm home... sort of.
Right now Greg and I are still Nomads, living in friends' houses, and trying to figure out how to resettle into life here in Virginia Beach.

Two weeks back and I've gotten the same question about a hundred times, "How was South Africa?" What is the answer to that? Do you want the 2 minute answer, the 20 minute answer, or the 3 day answer?

My difficulty to answer this question probably comes from the same reason I haven't written in my blog. How do I put into words such an experience? How could I do justice to expressing what God is doing in South Africa, and what he is doing in my life? How do I try to explain what it's like to be a foreigner in a society of dozens of overlapping cultures. Each group of people has its own economic standing, social expectations, internal and external conflicts, and frequently separate languages. Right now, South Africa is in the midst of a precarious status quo; many separate groups living in the same space, and unsure how to react to each other.

God's desire is to reach each culture, and each people group, around the globe. Too often we, as followers of Christ, decide who to reach out to based on who we are. We live with filters of what we think people need and of what we think it means to love people, but too often we miss the mark.

I think one of the challenging parts of being in South Africa, was that God opened my eyes enough to know that the Western church very often gets things wrong. Unfortunately, God left out the piece about what the answer is supposed to be. As frustrating as that can be, I recognize this to be intentional. If God withholds knowledge, He challenges me to follow Him instead of my own wisdom.

So how do I reconcile all of this? How do I take the experiences this summer and use them to produce fruit in Virginia Beach? How do I not get frustrated about Hummers with 30 inch rims when there are children who need food? But who am I to decide that owning my Honda is better than owning a Hummer?

Why does this place feel so foreign, that once felt like home?