We have now been in Zambia for 17 days and we continue to be in a time of ‘in between.’ Since leaving Lusaka we’ve been staying at the Nahumba guest house in Choma, run ironically by our friends Bruce and Joleen from back home who moved here in September. They have graciously opened up the place to our two families as we continue to be in transition and it’s nice to have familiar faces around as we navigate this next stage.
We continue to wait for the well to be finished at MICS so there will be enough water to support our families living on campus (and more importantly to help the school continue to function). Progress has been made but things sometimes take a little more time on this side of the world and are often more complex. Decisions are made that are better in the long term, but mean that they take longer.
Our friend and teammate Jamie wrote a great post about what it’s been like. I’ve been trying hard to find the beauty in the waiting. But I’ll be quite honest, it’s a challenge. There are moments throughout the day and I try to hold on to them like gold… seeing our kids playing in the dirt outside all day, climbing trees, starting to reach out and connect with local kids, meeting their new teacher, a beautiful sunset, life-giving rain and enjoying a meal of chicken and chips, to name a few.
But we are all wearing down. We don’t know when we’ll get to move to Macha and that part is hard. No doubt there is an end in sight, we’re just not sure when to look forward to that. Our duffle bags are piled in a corner, mostly untouched as we live out of one or two bags, often thinking of things that would be useful but are buried in who knows what bag. We are around people all day, people who we love and are grateful for and are easy to live with, but we crave our own space as I’m sure they do. Some of us have a little more introvert in us than others. Time together with just our family takes a lot of intentionality, something that is easy to come by back home, something we probably have too much of there.
I find being in limbo I am getting impatient with my kids, who really just need some extra love and attention. It’s is especially hard when I’m running on empty. They have been out of school for a month and a half and need some structure. But school is a 3 hour round trip at the moment, half of it on bumpy dirt roads and it’s just not realistic yet. I crave meaningful work that goes beyond domestic life. Besides a few supply days, I haven’t been teaching since June and I long to set up my classroom, get to know the kids at MICS and help those who need it.
Every day gets a little bit harder and I’m not sure when this stage will end. And I know the next one will have it’s new set of challenges. Nobody said this would be easy. We chose to come and I’m glad we did. Things wouldn’t be as far along as they are if we were waiting in the comforts of our Canadian homes. I want to be here. There is beauty all around and I feel like I belong here. But it is hard.
So what do I do as I wait? I pray for patience and for grace. I do my best to choose gratitude. As we drove on the uncomfortable and bumpy dirt road yesterday, I wanted to complain but instead I searched for as many things to be grateful for as I could and it wasn’t so bad. But I also mess up. I am short with my family, I am critical when I should be encouraging, I withdraw when I need to engage, I feel sorry for myself and I think of what I miss from home.
I know trials can be turned into joy and God can use them to develop perseverance in me. Sometimes the most beautiful things happen in the waiting and I don’t want to miss out on this day because I’m waiting for the next.