Monday, September 29, 2014

I want a doppelganger

One of the strangest struggles I've had as a missionary is having to be just one person. That's actually pretty classic for missionaries. We struggle with work identity, as we often have many disparate responsibilities on the field and not just one clear role. I struggle with having so many things that need to be done that I can do in the ministry but just not enough time to do them all. Missionaries struggle with culture identity, as we never fully fit into the culture where we serve and yet over time are changed enough by it that we don't quite fit in with our "home" culture either.

I've been especially struggling lately, since I was supposed to leave for Zambia this month but still don't quite have enough support to go, with longing to be in two places at once. I'm longing so badly to be over in Zambia, helping the centers to get started with the CTO and getting channels of transformational curriculum flowing in Africa, instead of just swirling over here. But I've got to acknowledge that God is using this extra time in the States for important things I didn't expect to prepare me; I just still find myself wishing that I could send a doppelganger of myself to Zambia to get started without needing support or other needed issues worked out. And maybe have one learning French for me, since I can never seem to find the time for that lately however I mean to. And have one doing all the little things like indexing one of our courses that still needs it, cleaning up the wiki where I keep track of our curriculum development, one to spend more time with family and friends ... etc. But the fact is that God only meant for me to be one person, who works hard to serve His people in Africa but also loves her family and dance class, who develops her mind as much as she puts it to work, who accommodates both who she is and who her boyfriend is, and yes, still has to eat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Struck down, but not destroyed

There are so many great things I want to share about the week-long staff meeting we just had in Charlotte. We gathered from all over--from the home our westernmost colleague to our easternmost is nine time zones! But before I share the exciting things, I find it important to share our most grave prayer request.

Sunday afternoon we enjoyed a meal at George and Kathy's house (pictures to come soon, I hope!). Kathy began to ask Christie, my colleague and dear friend, about the situation for Christians in the area of Nigeria where she and her husband minister.

"The situation is very bad," she said. "This dress I am wearing today, I had it made to wear at my cousin's wedding. He was supposed to be married at the end of August. But in July he was killed in an attack. There was one day a blast from a car bomb so close to me that my office shook. Since churches have tried to put up security around their buildings on Sunday, the terrorists now wait in the streets and follow the Christians as they drive home to kill them. So before you go to church, you have to tell your children how much you love them, because you may not make it home alive. They have taken more villages in the north and declared there will be no Christians there. Some villages, they have killed everyone there. There was one village where they killed all the men but left the women. The children had to watch the women dig graves to bury their husbands. The terrorists have weapons our military doesn't even have, and no one knows how they got them."

Please keep the Christians of Nigeria in your frequent and earnest prayers, that the Lord will overcome the evil one and even use his ploys against him, as this violence is causing some to turn away from their religion and to Christ. Pray that our ministry will be used to bring the light and peace of Christ especially here.