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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

10 reasons I'm falling in love with Chad



I don't want to worry friends or family with my last post. I got several people asking if I was okay, and I hope I didn't sound like I was miserable, because though I miss home, yes, I am okay (much better than ok actually). If I wasn't okay I would let you all know. I am learning to be content here in Chad and who woulda thought? I'm actually starting to love life here.

These are the reasons I'm falling in love with Chad.

THE PEOPLE 

The people here are so warm and friendly. Wherever you go, you greet everyone, and it's not just a simple, "How are you?". You ask how the person's mother is doing, how everyone else at the house is doing, and so on.

It's perfectly normal here to drop by a neighbor's house at any given time and you're served dates, tea -- sometimes even candy. And you are always invited for dinner.

As friendly as they are, most of the people in this town are Muslims, living a life of emptiness and hopelessness. If only I, with the little Arabic I know, could somehow share Jesus with them!

THE FOOD

The food here is so different and intriguing. Yes, everyone eats with their hands or with these large awkward looking spoons that I haven't quite mastered using. When I first came here I was disgusted, but I suppose with time, you can get used to anything. I'm not picky about trying any new food now. What's surprising is that even though sometimes the food here can LOOK gross, more than half of what I've tried is oh-so-yummy.

MORNINGS

Sunset here happens before seven and so the sun comes up before five am. And oh, if the sun came up back in the States at five I would be up at that time every morning. I normally wake up as soon as the enormous sun peeks over the hills outside of town. I grab my Bible and a notebook and climb up the stairs to the roof. It's coolest up there, with the fresh wind blowing my dress and lifting my hair off my sweaty, sticky neck. It feels heavenly. And the view? Since we live in the nicest house in the area, our roof is highest and you can see for miles. I would never skip a morning of devotions, of Jesus time, if everyday I got to experience that.

THE LANDSCAPE

The view from the roof brings me to my next reason -- the landscape. Yes, it's dusty and there's not a patch of grass to be seen, but there are trees here (which I never expected, when I lived in Sudan it was rare to see trees). They provide shade and a spark of color. The hills outside this town (which we'll go see soon) look like gigantic rocks hurled into earth. I've never seen anything quite like it.

THE WORK

Perhaps this is a funny thing to fall in love with. The first week or two in this new house, without running water, I thought the work seemed endless. It seems as if we're forever hand washing laundry, doing dishes, and sweeping floors. Even something like taking a "shower" (a couple cups of water dumped over you head) is work. I told myself I would never take for granted a cold shower, a dishwasher, or a washing machine again. But now I kind of like hand washing laundry, hanging it up onto the roof to dry, and hauling buckets of dirty water out onto the street. It gives me a chance to appreciate life.

THE SIMPLICITY

Oh, how I love how simple everything is here! I disliked it at first, but now I find myself being much more creative. I've gotten back into sketching (which I'd basically given up on) and writing my book at nights. I take delight in things more than I ever did before, like a long email from a friend, painting my nails, drinking tea in the mornings, finding butter at the store, or having the city electricity turn on.

THE BROTENS

This family that I'm staying with is being to feel more and more like my own (though no one can be quite like my family) none of us are perfect, and I'm sure I get on their nerves sometimes, but I really enjoy being with them. I learn more about their personalities everyday. I'm so thankful they've taken me in for these several months!

RICKSHAW RIDES

If you don't know what a rickshaw is, look it up. Here in Chad they don't have the kind that people pull, but the motor rickshaws. Anytime we go somewhere, until we get a vehicle, all eight of us pile squished into one. It might sound terrible, but it's quite an adventure!

Last Sunday were we riding in a rickshaw and a donkey ran in front of us. We hit him, he was okay (so were we), and though we were a bit shaken up (and I had a nice bruise on my knee), we had a good laugh later. Oh what a life.

THE STRUGGLE

This is probably the most absurd thing out of the ten to love. Though I admit part of me hates the suffering and pain here, I know it develops my character (which could use a lot of work). It is hard here. I will refrain from listing reasons why, because today I will be thankful and not fall into the trap of ungratefulness I often find myself in. But isn't anything worth it hard?

THE CLOSENESS TO JESUS

I think this is my favorite reason. According to most people, I am crazy to come to Africa (and sometimes I do think I've gone nuts). And I said above, there's a lot of struggling here. There's nothing here to satisfy my flesh. There's nothing here to distract me from Jesus.

When the heat is sweltering, the work overbearing, and when the tears from missing my family start to flow, I run to Jesus. There is nothing else to run to. Isn't it horrible how I have to have everything stripped from me before I run to the one who loves me most? I'm so awful!

But when there is no good in me, there's good in Him, and I'm finding beauty in His glory, piece by piece. I would not want to live any other way.

4 comments:

  1. Okay, now you're making me want to move there... :)

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  2. @Rebekah: same here!!!! ;) I wish I could visit you Kendra!! I would LOVE the simplicity! :)

    Love,
    Manda
    http://meandjesus-amanda.blogspot.com

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  3. Oh wow...so enjoyed reading this, you find so many things to love and be thankful for and in, I could NEVER do that living in Africa!!

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  4. This is so encouraging! You have to be having a change of perspective and learning to persevere in your circumstances. You chose it and He chose you. I am encouraged to hear that you have made so many friends and there will be a way to share Jesus with all of them. Um, just being their friend and your spirit will reveal to your new acquaintances what He is all about. So happy they are responsive.
    Yes, less is more. I pray for you everyday. Am sending an email and I hope you are able to read it. If not, we can talk later.
    Love Love you.

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