Thursday, October 31, 2013

days 18-23

Life has been good here lately and keeps us busy. I'm considering doing the picture a day photography project next month, too. I love capturing life here. More pictures coming soon.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chadian friends

Despite the fact that I'm white and don't speak much Arabic, I'm happy to say that God has been generous enough to give me friends here in Chad. Almost everyday someone will stop by and say hi. There are times when visits are longer and I bring out books or art supplies to entertain ourselves. I normally learn new Arabic words in exchange for teaching my friends English words.

It's true that my friends here will never compare to some of my friends at home (you all are the best). The language, cultural and religious differences can easily create barriers between my friends here in Chad but I've been blessed to have girls that don't make fun of me much (or if they do, I don't understand what they're saying anyway) and who are quick to forget my mistakes or just laugh along with me.

Pray that I would somehow be able to show Jesus to these young ladies. It's humbling to know that without the Spirit I can't bring anyone to Christ.

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we could ask or think, according to the Power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the Church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations, forever and ever." Ephesians 3:20-21

Sunday, October 20, 2013

sheep slaughter

Here in Chad they have a holiday (Or Eid as they say in Arabic) where they kill a sheep in remembrance of Abraham sacrificing a sheep instead of his son. When I was younger and  lived in Sudan they celebrated the same holiday every year. I would freak out and hide in my room for two reasons: I didn't want to see the poor sheep get killed and I was scared of blood. This time I watched our neighbor's kill their sheep and it was actually quite fascinating. I even ate some of the meat after they cooked it later that day and it tasted delicious.

Here's some pictures from the sheep killing. If you have a weak stomach or feel a deep tenderness towards sheep, I would warn you not to proceed.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chad photography project days 8-17

In about seven weeks from now I leave Chad. The time has, on one hand, seemed to have flown by and on the other hand I feel like it's been ages since I've been home. I miss my family like crazy and I can't explain how enthusiastic I feel at the thought of being with them again.

I've learned much in the past five months. Though it has been exceedingly hard and my sinful flesh has hated every moment of it, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I don't know how God will use me when I get back to the States but being a part of His plan and His church is such a blessing.

(This is totally unrelated but I'm sorry if you couldn't focus on the two paragraphs above because of the gigantic spider staring at you. I freaked out when I saw it but I was brave enough to throw my flipflop from across the room and hit it. I might be scared of spiders now but at least I still have good aim.)

Monday, October 14, 2013

late night with Dolly

Last night Evangeline (Dolly) and I went a little crazy (or cray cray I should say, nowadays). We stayed up late and when the sun comes up at five am late is like 9pm.

We listened to some Matt Kearney, filmed how our water system works, drew pictures of Legolas, wrote silly poems, split a chocolate brownie Cliff bar, and took way too many pictures with the camera flash on. There was also a lot of laughter involved. 

Here's some pics of us. Beware. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Chadian Night Skies

I have never seen the stars or moon so clear or so close as I have here in Chad. The moon seems ten times nearer and the stars ten times as radiant as they do back in the States.

I love to climb up on the roof at night and gaze up at the stars. Who could look at the stars and not believe there was Someone bigger than them who created them all? Who could truly believe that all of this happened by chance? I feel so small knowing how big the universe is. I feel safe, knowing that the God who made all this made me. Surely He knows what is best for me, surely I can trust Him.

"The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals their knowledge. There is no speech, nor are their words, whose voice is not heard." Psalm 19: 1-3

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

31 days in Chad (project) days 1-6

This month I'm doing a 31 day photography project. Basically I'll be taking at least one picture for every day this month. It's nothing like the 365 day challenges, but capturing life here is important to me because I don't want to forget these days. Next month I'm thinking of doing the same thing, just with black and white photos and maybe trying to do some videos, too. 

Here are the pics that I've worked on so far. Expect to see more this coming month!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chadian Fashion

What teenage girls here in Chad is quite different from what teenage girls wear in the United States. And since I stick out enough as a young woman with white skin, it's best if I try to fit in with the culture a little more and wear the clothes that they do. 

Around the house Chadian women wear house dresses, which are usually nice and cool. They're much cooler than my skirts and shirts. When I go outside in the yard or on the porch, I throw on or tie a tdarha on my head. 

When they go outside of the walls of their house, unmarried Chadian young women wear a black dress called an abio. The dress is a lot cooler than it looks and you just throw it on top of your house dress. Using a bigger tdarha with the abio is also what girls wear. 

There are times when I don't want to wear the headscarf and I just want to throw on a tshirt and a pair of shorts. I know that part of living here means respecting the people and the culture, and I wouldn't be respecting anyone if I walked around in shorts and let my hair down. I have to be honest and confess that I don't always have the best attitude about wearing these clothes. I need God's help not just wear the clothes, but to be joyful while wearing them. 

To lighten up things a bit, here's a picture of me struggling to fix the tdaha. Which is something that happens frequently. I've had several times when my tdaha catches on something or blows completely off and I awkwardly fumble to put it back on correctly. Thanks to Evangeline for taking these pictures. :) 

Friday, October 4, 2013

breaking down

Every day here in Chad my pride and dignity gets lower and lower. I'm not sure which breaks me down most -- totally and awkwardly messing up words when speaking to Chadians, the fact that my bathroom for the past three months has been a hole in the ground, or that I have meltdowns because I miss my mom. (I'm pretty sure the bathroom situation is my least favorite out of the three.) 

I'm starting to care less and less about what other people think and care more about what God thinks. I'm starting to care less about about how great (or not-so-great) people think I am and care more about others as people that God's made for me to love. The Holy Spirit gets all the credit for this new mindset -- before I start giving myself credit for something I shouldn't give myself credit for. 

Life is too short for me to do things just to please other people. People's opinions of me are going to change and people themselves aren't going to last forever. God stands permanently. His thoughts are everlasting. Isn't what He thinks of me ever so much more important than what others, mere humans, think of me? 

Once I stop caring what people think of me and strive to love them instead, people start to actually like me more than they did when I cared about what they thought. Ironically by that time I've already developed a more Christ-like mindset and I don't even want people to praise me -- I want them to praise God. Because He is the only one who really matters.