If you’ve ever spent time in the third world, then you know the real culture shock isn’t visiting the third world–but rather when you return to fairy land back home.
Richard apologized for not having time to go to the grocery before I got home and told me I’d need to go today. I opened the frig and pantry. We have plenty.
My phone rings and it’s Delta telling me they lost my luggage. I’m glad…but not because I wanted my “stuff” back. I could care less about my “stuff”. I really wanted the 50 new profiles we have so we can potentially get 50 more students sponsored. The luggage arrived–and I pulled out those 50 forms as if they were precious jewels. And they are.
I watched my children all day…as if I’d never seen them do the things they were doing today. Riding their bikes. THEY HAVE BIKES. Spinning on their scooters. THEY HAVE SCOOTERS…TOO??? Asking for more milk. MILK? NOT JUST WATER…THEY GET MILK. AND MORE MILK WHEN THEY ASK. Parker fell on his bike…his knee started bleeding. I put a bandaide on his scrape and rocked him. HE HAS A MOM TO LOVE HIM, TO CARE FOR HIM, TO KISS HIS BOOBOOS. After naps, they asked for a snack. A SNACK??? WHAT COUNTRY IS THIS??? WOW. I FORGOT HOW BLESSED WE ARE!!!
Every where I turn right now–I’m blown away. Trying to take it all in…this is where the real culture shock happens.
I try to turn it off…and just be normal. I try to shake it. I go to the sink and fix a glass of water. A miracle…clean water comes out and again…I can drink it.
I think of the 10 year old across the world…whose world has been shaken because of her lot. A double orphan…parents taken by HIV and malaria. And luck of the draw–she managed to escape both. But last week–she was abused 3 nights in a row…and in 3 months–I guess she’ll need to be tested to see if she also has HIV. Ain’t no visiting the American Doll Store for this little girl. Nope–that’s not her world…or anything even close to it. She is one of the millions just like her. Who if we aren’t careful here in fairy land…we might forget. One of the millions that need us desperately to remember…and ACT. I held her. I wiped away her tears. This is life in Africa for so many children.
And I just can’t go on vacation and live a “normal” life while it happens.
Some times–I feel sorry for my kids. Why can’t they just have a “normal” mom who worries about “normal American things”??? Are we messing them up??? Or maybe…
Maybe this really IS what life is all about.
Maybe this IS the way God wants us to raise our children as believers.
Maybe we really are supposed to struggle filling up a glass of clean water…not forgetting how blessed we are…what God has done for us…and how He might really want to use us to bless others.
I’m in the middle of culture shock at it’s finest. And I hate it…but I also think this is right where God really wants us as believers to live. Bothered. Compelled. Desperate to do something.
I guess the real nightmare would be if these things didn’t bother me. If I could sleep soundly at night knowing what was happening. If my brain wasn’t racked all day by ideas…that might or might not work to help.
One amazing thing that has happened yesterday and today–is that I have been so encouraged. BY YOU. I have received a few emails from blog readers who want to sponsor children. REALLY??? I even got an email from a blog reader who journeyed with us to Africa through my entries…and their family has been led to CANCEL their vacation and donate the money instead. REALLY???!!! In a culture where we preach “you need a vacation”…”you need to be replenished”…I am just so ministered to that families all over are making radical choices to serve others….to make a difference in lives like our precious little Ruth at Wiphan. One blogger commented that they are going to sponsor THREE children. This just lifts MY SOUL!!!
James 1:27 is about serving the widows and orphans. That is the first part. The second part is just as big–and I believe goes hand in hand in serving widows and orphans. It says not to be polluted by the world. It’s really hard to serve widows and orphans when you are being influenced or keeping up with the world and what it says is important. I truly believe God is raising up families all over the world to make radical life choices for the sake of loving and serving orphans and widows. I often get frustrated sitting in church listening to challenges that don’t sound very challenging…self-help talks…or surface conversations. I can handle it much better at the park…but for some reason, at church–it makes me go cross-eyed. Just when I think my eyes might permanently stick cross-eyed–I check my email…and I’m encouraged by families who are making crazy big sacrificial decisions for the sake of others. Thank you to those of you who have personally ministered to me in your obedience to your radical calls to serve.
Thank you for bearing with me as I readjust. I’m sure I’ve lost quite a few readers in the process…but that’s okay:). I’m keeping it real…and the readjusting…the culture shock on this side–is the hardest part.
Here’s a sweet clip of the Zambia kiddos…oh my heart…I miss them already!!! For those of you who journeyed with us…I would like to introduce you to Pastor Alice (my sidekick last week…LOVE HER!) and the sweet trio–they run together 24-7;). They are singing about God’s love for them…just precious. All orphans…but children of God!
If you would like to join us in sponsoring a child through Wiphan Care Ministries, please visit the SPONSORSHIP PAGE AT THIS LINK. We have 1/4 of our children sponsored but need 300 more sponsored. We only have 1/4 of our children up on the site now…and we need to get the 25 remaining sponsored before we begin adding the additional 300 we need sponsored…more will be added next week as hopefully we get the 25 children waiting for sponsors connected first! Thank you for even considering joining us in this way!!!!!
More on adjusting and readjusting I’m sure in the week ahead:).
Love y’all…and thankful for the support of so many amazing, like-minded readers. Seriously…so thankful for each of you.