Sunday, August 05, 2007

Settling In

A recent letter to my prayer and financial supporters...

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5


Today is my 11th day back in the States and it is starting to feel more and more like home. I didn't anticipate the adjustment to be difficult, so have been somewhat surprised by the challenges. One thing is for sure, however... I am blessed with amazing relationships and it has been fantastic catching up face to face and over the phone. Talking with people helps a lot, so please feel free to call at any time. I would love to hear from you!! Better yet, come over for tea!!!

I must say that after a year in Africa the culture there had rubbed off on me more than I realized. Arriving in America I felt a bit like a foreigner in my own homeland. Did anyone else read Amelia Bedelia books either growing up or to their kids? In case you never have, it's not too late:)! This endearing housekeeper is constantly mistaken in her tasks because she performs them all quite literally. She makes sponge cake with real sponges and in the middle of a shower she was supposed to plan, she douses all of the guests with water. I haven't pulled anything quite that ridiculous yet, but still find myself fumbling just a little...

The first morning when I opened the cereal cupboard I stood for several minutes just evaluating all of my options! What to have? I have adjusted by putting the cereals on a rotation system. Just pick one and I can have something different tomorrow. It was such a strange feeling. Later that morning I picked up an apple and was shocked by its size! After commenting to my brother that the apple must be on steroids, he replied that to him it looked like a very small apple. Walking through the grocery store I realized that every fruit is enormous. Just eating a banana is quite a commitment:)!!

I am adjusting, slowly, to talking on the phone again. We had cell phones in Africa but it is expensive to talk so mainly we sent text messages. When making a call it was strictly business. Get to the point and get off the line:).

Driving on the right is a bit confusing, but mostly it is the blinker throwing me off. Instead of hitting the blinkers I turned on the windshield wipers for my first entire day behind the wheel.

For dinner one night I decided to make milk tart, and melted the butter on the stove as always... thinking how nice it was that I could just turn the knob to start the stove instead of lighting it!! It wasn't until after I had finished that I realized we have a microwave and I could have just used that. Oh my:).

Getting ready this morning I was delighted to find... you might think this is gross... a bug on the inside of the shower curtain. It probably was a big bug for North Dakota, but quite small for Africa... and having it there made me feel at home.

In this transition phase, probably the biggest challenge and the area where I really need your prayers is the change in lifestyle. Working as a nurse in Mozambique certainly had its trials, and there were days when Sarah and I just wanted to hide out and be left alone for crying out loud!!! But regardless of that, we still were in a position of constantly pouring out and having other missionaries and friends around us pour back in to us. We were in a position of desperately needing God every moment of every day. I must say I miss that. I miss Africa... my patients (friends)... the children... the pace of life... the focus on people... our house... palm trees... fresh fruit... etc. Basically just being a part of something so close to God's heart. Please don't hear that I am complaining, or that I don't like being home. Both of those things are not true. I am thankful for this year and I love being home. It's just going to take me a little time to adjust to the dramatic change of life.

Please continue to pray for the project in Mozambique (Rubatano) and for Hands at Work as a whole. A large chunk of my heart remains there... God is doing awesome things in southern Africa! We are so privileged to be a part of that.

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