Well this week has been an interesting one, if that. It has truly been an interesting experience living with an Ivorian family. Through language and cultural barriers life is a little intense. On top of that I have been sick quite a few times, and I think it’s because of the food. My host family insisted that we call our pastor so that he could take me to the hospital, but I assured them that that was not necessary and that it is normal for missionaries to get sick from the food. They didn’t understand and called the pastor anyways, when I was taking my bucket bath. He came over and saw that I was insistent on not going to the hospital and agreed that if I still hadn’t been feeling well by the end of the day he would take me whether I liked it or not. It was quite funny. It is a complete difference between our two cultures. In America, you leave the sick person alone, give them their rest time and peace and quiet. In Cote d’Ivoire, you would never dream about leaving a sick person all alone. That’s crazy talk!! So I have had constant people around me touching me to make sure I don’t have a fever, asking how I am doing trying to feed me. I won’t lie, when I was sick the first night, I was SO ANNOYED by this!!! SO annoyed!! So much so that I had to pray that God would give me self control to let these people love on me the way that they know how. Boy oh boy that was a challenge.
While I was journaling yesterday, I was trying to think about what I should be writing about and the only things that were coming to mind, were all of the things that I am frustrated about, such as being sick (like the example above). Also how bad I am at French and how frustrating it is not being able to get your point across. I listed how I was wishing for different circumstances like living back in Buoaké or with another family. I especially can’t stand being talked to and treated like a two year old (they even locked up my bike so that I have to ask before I use it). It’s all so FRUSTRATING!!!
…well…then God reminded me of our Scripture of the Week:
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful
in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thes. 5:16-18
Crap…you mean I actually have to be thankful and joyful while vomiting in a hole outside?? Our being recovered by my older sister even though it’s 90 degrees outside and I don’t want any blankets on me?? Dude, God you are insane!! What the heck? Haha (this is sort of what I was thinking). Well I suppose I will give this being thankful thing a shot.
So I started to list all of the things that I should be thankful for. It started out small such as the gorgeous sunrises I have the priviledge of seeing every morning and for the amazing stars I get to eat dinner under every night. I am thankful for the French and Tyembara that I do know and for being able to tie my panya skirt right so it doesn’t fall off now. For my church here and back in the states and the friends and family members I have there. For my host family who is willing to take in and care for and love a stranger (and a strange one at that). For my family in the states (whom I miss an insane amount) and for their willingness to call and talk to me whenever I need them too and their support for me being here. That God has kept His promise in sending me here, to Africa. That He renews my strength each and every morning and gives me just enough strength to make it through the day. That His love and His grace have no bounds what so ever and they cannot be limited by language or culture. Dude the God who created the ENTIRE universe loves me the way no one else could possibly love me…a way that I can’t even understand or grasp. Dude…HOW COOL IS THAT!!!! That’s awesome :) I have so much more to be thankful for than I do to complain about. I have prayed that the Lord would turn my frustrations into even more things to give Him praise for. That His will would be above all else even if that means that I won’t be happy with it. So that’s where I’m at, at this particular moment. I still have to take one day at a time, I still have to pray for God’s strength that I am dependent on, I still get frustrated with things, I still feel homesick, but I praise God for these things. They are stretching and molding me in ways I could never have fathomed in a million years. I praise God!
*1 Thes 5:16-18 will always be on my heart and mind and that I will always give thanks, no matter the circumstance
*Against spiritual attack
*For our stomach’s getting used to the food and water here
*For our service projects we will be starting soon (more to come on that next time…I am extremely excited about some of them)
*For our brothers and sisters in the south where the country is ‘hot’ and our other brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted for their faith [I just finished reading “Heart of Fire: a martyrs story”…so good, read it]
I get a few email responses about blogs and such, please keep those coming. They have been nothing but an encouragement to me and I appreciate every word of them. I want to hear about what you are thankful for and what else you give God praise for. And of course also the frustrations and hardships, so that I can also be praying for you. “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep” Romans 12:15
Thanks again :)
Until Next time…