joining with a group of lovely writers at Five Minute Friday to pour our hearts out on the page, unedited, for five minutes on a one word prompt. Join up with the group and don’t forget to comment on those beautiful ones who have written before and after you 😉
Its always interesting to me to see where this prompt goes. Because it inspires so many different responses usually when we write. and to be honest, this could have gone many ways. I had read some of what others read and was thinking on what I’d write about. And then I received an email from a friend and knew what I’d write about.
You see, this friend has been in Kenya for the past year. She’s been serving for a year with AIM in the northern part of the country, in a land that is completely different from anything that she’s every known. And its been an incredibly stretching experience, on many levels, some of which i’m sure I don’t even know the half of (because I only get to know what she shares with me in letters.)
The past month has been a time of upheaval for the team as they have had to leave their post quite quickly to avoid the warring tribes that were in their area. The dry season and some other aspects had brought some hostility out amongst the tribal groups, and there was a real danger for them. They had to leave in quite a hurry, and were not able to talk to many of the dear people they had been ministering too.
My experience with traveling the world has been limited. perhaps more than others, though. I was blessed to be able to go and serve in France for a summer 10 years ago at a Camp that is run by an amazing mission. It was and is still one of my fondest memories. And while France was different from what I am accustomed to here in Canada, it was still fairly westernized and I’m not sure that it was as much of a shock as I was expecting. Perhaps the missionaries that were there helped to keep us from really experiencing too much of it, because they were always present to advise us on what to do.But I digress.
Because all of that to say, that even when i’ve been overseas, it has been to a country that is very much like my own. And while there was a learning curve, it wasn’t at all like what my friend has been experiencing.
New language, new customs, new environment, new animals, new rituals, new living conditions, new everything pretty much. And she’s had to take it all in, and process it in a way that only she can. And I can’t imagine. Alot of the time i think that I process things by attempting to relate them to something else in life that I’ve experienced. Kind of like having a touchstone so that I know where to go from there…something that I’ve experienced before, know the outcome of and can kind of guess on what might happen.
My friend has had very few touchstones. Everything is new. And while she went through orientation, and has lived with a family that has served faithful for several years who i’m sure imparted much of their gleaned knowledge with her, its still different then experiencing and processing it yourself.
And so as I reflected on her journey this past year, and all that has transpired over here on this continent it made me reflect on how large our world is, and how diverse the things that occupy our minds. At this moment, survival is on the minds of the Kenya’s where she has worked. On her mind, how her remaining months will look as her journey has taken a twist that was unanticipated (not outside of His hands, but still unknown to her.) And they have very little knowledge or care of what is taking place here on this continent, because at some point they are just trying to survive.
And while there are so many important conversations that we need to have about life as it has happened in the past months, I wonder how much of a grasp on real living we have. Every day in Kenya seems to be lived moment to moment because each breathe is a gift, one never knows what will happen next. and the same is true of us here, but i find myself taking those breathes for granted as i”m preoccupied with all the things going on around me and I wonder if anything that i’m saying/doing/living will make a difference.
so that is a bit of my limited perspective on the word today…there is so much that one could expound about on the word World.