Jars of Clay

img_0204It has been an interesting three weeks on so many platforms.  We are departing tomorrow from Nakuru which is the city where we have been staying while learning many key components on how to navigate this new world that we live in.  It is said that your own worldview is often not challenged until it rubs up against someone with a different worldview.  In fact, you may not even realize that you have a worldview.  (You do and so do I, but I hadn’t thought about it too often up until this point)  The African worldview is significantly different from the Western worldview so you can only imagine what each day holds for our family.  It is not good or bad, just different and will take many outings, conversations, prayers, and vulnerable moments for us to go with the flow.  Time, money, relationships, work, and many other things are done differently here.  So, we are like infants, not just with our language ability, but really in most areas of how we do life.  A challenge for sure, but one we won’t go at alone.  We have a team waiting to receive us in Tanzania and are so thankful that AIM has taken the time to develop their framework so that we get to benefit from it.

 

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We leave for Tanzania on Thursday and this will be the final leg of our journey.  We will move into our home over the weekend and Randall will begin his teaching assignment the following Thursday.  We are good to go, right?  Absolutely, with God all things are possible.  The Bible says so.  But, I have to be honest, because I am very human.  I am scared about this next part even though this was the target that we have been shooting for over the past half of year.  We have lived in plenty of places, so in that regard I feel like I have a little preparation.  But we have never lived in another culture, nor have we lived in a major city.  Two new experiences.  I have lived in places where I have had to find the grocery store, but never where I couldn’t use my words to ask for what I need or to get directions.  Church has a different feel, probably partially because all of my kids are squirming in their seats asking, “can we go yet?” or worse, “can you take us to the bathroom?” (the dreaded hole in the ground that I am getting used to)  School is a new experience for two of our kids because it will take place outside of our home, and even though Randall will be in the same building, it is still very different from our norm.  Speaking of school, I have to fight myself, praying and petitioning the Lord each day to help me not to get jealous of my husband’s transition into the familiar territory of teaching while I hang back and figure out how to be a housewife in Tanzania.  Like I said, very human.

I share these things because they are a very real part of this process and we are very much in the thick of it.  In my head, I can picture myself serving in an orphanage, working with street kids, partnering with city-wide missions to share the gospel, but in my reality, I will start with learning how to say, “How far? and How much?” in Swahili so that I can buy chicken at the local market for dinner.  I will open the Bible each day and draw from the deep well that is God’s word so that I can be full in my soul with His love.  I will serve my mini city mission inside the walls of our home, pouring into tomorrows missionaries that God has entrusted to me to build into.  I will take tea with my house helper as we strive to build a relationship in the context of each others language barriers.  It most likely will be a pretty messy process, “but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)  I cannot do this on my own.  I haven’t up to this point, so it would be foolish to think of taking the reins now.  Being molded into the jar of clay that Jesus desires is fine by me, because that means that I will be firmly and lovingly held in the hands of the Potter.  No better place to be during this next chapter3compress