Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

24 June 2009

Out of Africa

I would like you to meet two friends of mine. Both work in Africa.

J, who I have mentioned before, works in a west African country. This week she sent me an email that started like this.

This comes with fresh greetings from a location where the air is clean from summer rains. While the downside might mean more litter washed into one's yard and less electricity (supplies perhaps 30% of the time), it is good to have the trees so green and the air dust-free.

Imagine if we only had electricity for 30% of the time...

The other is R, who works in a landlocked country in the south east of Africa. This is what she wrote in her blog earlier this month.

Remember my 'experiment' last year?

$1 a day (or was it $2?) no power, carry my own water for a week (or was it 2?) oh yeah - i remember- and no matress. lol

Well, I'm upping the ante. I've been given the opportunity to live in a village for a few months... and I moved out there last Friday! It's not about living on the edge or feeling good that I'm doing it tough- it's about getting as much language and cultural interaction as i can.

I'm looking forward to blogging all about it ...soon. But for now- First impressions?

- stinging eyes from lighting and cooking over a smoke fire
- the sheer time investment into every chore
- from boiling water for a cuppa to pumping water and carrying it up the hill to my house
- amazing generosity and friendliness of my new neighbourhood. They've visited, shared their food, invited me to family events (sadaka) and cleaned my pots....

but they're all stories for another day!

I'll write when I can- in the mean time, please pray that I'll get to the next level with language, make some good friends and stay well.

What J and R do takes my breath away.

J and R don't live choose to live in these circumstances so they can be seen to be living the politically and environmentally correct lifestyle.
J and R don't live like this to store up impressive stories to tell at dinner parties.
J and R aren't trying to show off.

Rather...

J and R are two humble women who love God and love the people of the nations in which they live and work.
J and R remind me of the difference between living surrounded by abundance and living abundantly.
J and R remind me to be thankful and to stop complaining when I am inconvenienced in some small way.

And there you have J and R, two friends of mine. Two amazing women.

1 comment:

Helen said...

When I saw your title I thought oh, Master N will be doing "Me Alex...." LOL Amzing woman Meredith, I feel humble reading it. x