Saturday, November 27, 2010

Learning About Home from Afar

"Sometimes you have to immerse yourself in an unfamiliar world before you can understand your own."

I heard this quote recently and it really got me thinking about all we have learned about ourselves since coming to Zambia. While we have learned a lot, here is just a snippet:
  • Before coming here, I had ideas about the importance of family, but it wasn't until I saw the way Zambians value family (not just nuclear, but aunts, uncles, cousins, etc...) that I learned what many of us in the States are missing out on and what we seemed to have forgotten. Family matters!
  • I thought I understood how well off we were in the States materially, but then I saw poverty first-hand. And I realized that I didn't have a clue. I didn't nearly understand the plight that most of the world struggles with on a daily basis and I didn't feel the responsibility that comes with such blessing ("To whom much has been given, much will be required").
  • I thought I understood many portions of Scripture, but then I have been able to see these same Scriptures in a whole new light - through the eyes of another culture. It has really given me a more holistic view of God's word. I'm not saying that I understand it all, but I am saying that the Lord has used our time and experiences here to reveal more of Himself to us through His scriptures.
  • Before coming here, I thought I understood sacrifice. But having to leave close friends and family for the sake of the gospel has made sacrifice a reality. While holidays are still celebrated and enjoyed, they just are not the same when you are away from those you love most.
  • I thought I understood what it meant to trust Christ. But then I met pastors who go without food for days just so their families have something to eat. These same pastors are not walking away from their faith, but are praising God for his faithfulness. I'm beginning to see that I have very little understanding as to what it means to trust in the Lord, but I am learning p'ongono p'ongono (bit by bit).

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