I am still traveling. In just a couple of weeks, I will hit the two-month mark and the longest I have been in any one place is two weeks. I am tired of highways.
When I started making plans for my return, I knew I would be speaking at a lot of churches and sharing about God’s work in West Africa. So at the time, I decided it would be wise to front-load my schedule with travel in order to finish in the first two or three months. It seemed like a good idea, but in the middle of all this traveling, I am beginning to second-guess my decision. Continue reading
An ancient fable relates the tale of a group of blind men upon their first encounter with an elephant. Having heard of an elephant before but not knowing anything about them, these men are given the opportunity to feel the creature in order to know what it is. In this story (which has been told by countless people groups on multiple continents for over a thousand years) a string of 3 to 6 blind men each approach the elephant one at a time, grabbing different parts of the animal.
One, having felt the side of the animal, claims with certainty that an elephant is some form of wall. Another adamantly disagrees with him claiming the elephant is some kind of tree, having wrapped his arms around the animal’s leg. A third chimes in stating that it must be some form of farming equipment, like a plow. He, of course, had felt the tusk. Yet another still claims they are all fools stating this is nothing more than a kind of snake, all the while wrestling with the elephants trunk.
Depending on the version you hear, the story ends with everyone getting in a fight. In some versions it is resolved and they learn from each other, and in other versions it is not.
In recent years, this particular fable has gotten a lot of air time as an anecdote to explain the validity of postmodernism. At best, this cute little story is a flimsy defense of postmodernism. However, it does serve as an excellent example of perspective. Continue reading
I needed this post.
I had a lot of fun choosing my 5 most entertaining posts for last week’s Term in Review, but I needed to work through this week’s post. It was medicine for my soul.
Recently, I mentioned my lack of excitement about returning to the States, and as that time has quickly approached, I have found myself running a gamut of emotions. Sometimes it is the dread of returning to the world from which I came and being disappointed with what I find. At other moments it is hurt at leaving a life created here, saying goodbye to friends and people who have now become family.
But sifting through this next portion of my Term in Review, I finally found a little perspective. Continue reading
People do not smile enough.
It is certainly true where I live, and rightly so. I currently live in a world where life is harder than most anyone who reads this could imagine. If you are reading this, you are sitting in front of a computer. Even if its not your own, you at least have access to one. Day after day, the people here are fighting for existence. Many are wondering whether they will eat tomorrow. They live in sickness, disease and danger.
That does not leave a lot of room for smiling. Yet, despite their circumstances, the people here make room. One of the greatest gifts I have received in Africa is a smiling face. In a world that is so hard, few things are as valuable as experiencing moments of joy with a friend.
There is just something about seeing a face light up with happiness, eyes bright and teeth out of hiding. That is why I wrote these posts. Continue reading
There is simply too much to say.
If you have ever had someone pose a really deep question as you were pulling into the parking lot of your destination, then you understand the feeling.
Instead of attempting to sum up the entirety of my two-year experience in 1000 words or less, I am opting to take another route. I want to do a “Term in Review.” Certainly you are familiar with the Year in Review that many news and media outlets do at the end of each year, taking memorable moments and stories throughout the year and providing a summary of events.
Well, for the next two posts, I will walk back through some of my favorites. My goal is to provide a good cross section of my experiences here for the last two years. Continue reading