Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Safari From Home

I might have mentioned that our youngest daughter, SK, is in Kijabe, Kenya this year.
Oh, I didn't?
Just kidding.

Anyway, in these first two months, she's learned several important things:

  • monkeys are okay but stay away from the baboons
  • teaching elementary school students (called Titchy--as they do in the British system) means she's REALLY popular as she walks across campus
  • layering is important--it's always chilly in the morning but right warm by choir
  • these students are VERY polite
  • and deep
  • and are VERY interested in her views on everything from American politics to how many relationships she's had 
  • she's been diplomatic about one and outright refused to answer the other
  • her faith is being stretched, her reliance on God is growing as she trusts Him to meet her needs and there's great joy that she is where she's meant to be for this season.
  • she LOVES teaching!
But here's the thing: after two months there, even though she's found great community, she's missing home. This isn't surprising, I know, but she's feeling far away from her life here, from those who really know and love her. This is right when this kind of culture shock hits, she understands. She was ready for it, but couldn't stave it off. It isn't that she isn't happy there. She is. She's very glad to be where she is, she'd just like to be here, too. Doing and being and just plain WITH her 'here' community.

It's part of the reality of cross-cultural experiences. And our SK is a emotional, people-oriented person. So this is right in the middle of her make-up. Don't get me wrong, she's not sitting alone in her duplex, crying her eyes out. BY NO MEANS. She wouldn't have time for that, even if she had the hankering to do so. No, it's more of a shadow behind the present joy, if that makes sense. "If I could be two places as one time," that old romantic ballad went. Maybe that's more like it. But not even that, because she doesn't really want to be anywhere but where she is. She simply wants to be connected to those she loves.

So, what I'm asking--and that was a long way of getting to it--was for, first, your prayers for her. And secondly, that you read her blog, and maybe comment so she knows you're out there.
Oh, her blog is #safarifromhome

1 comment:

Pamela M. Steiner said...

I will definitely be in prayer for SK. Even though I've never lived in a foreign country/culture, we've lived away from our home many many times and in cultures that seemed foreign to us, even though we were still in the states. I can relate to her feelings of wanting to be in both places at once, and still continue to serve the Lord as she has been called to do. May God give her the grace she needs for each new day and every new experience. May He give her such a love for her people there that soon the twinges of homesickness will dissipate and she will begin to feel more at home there. Doesn't mean she still won't miss home, but she will be in tune with where she is that the times of "loneliness" will be fewer and farther between. God is able.