I just looked at my clock on the computer, it said 5:12AM. Zambia Time. I am here in California where the time is now 10:12PM. But I am thinking back to Kentucky where my children are staying with their grandma and it is 1:12AM. And now as I write I am doing the math in my head and am confused as to why the difference between KY time and Zambia time is only 4 hours when it is supposed to be 6, except for when its daylight savings then its 7, or maybe its the other way around.
Explains almost exactly how I have been feeling this one month that we have been in America.
We arrived, bleary eyed, worn out and emotionally strained. Truth be told, we arrived pretty beaten up from the fight and barely pulling ourselves back across the “line”.
I described it to a few friends, in a spiritual analogy ( though James has a great gift for analogies and illustrations I think this one is pretty good for an amatuer)
I was the small fish in the shrinking African watering hole.
It starts off huge and animals come to drink from far away and stay until it starts to dry up. Soon enough I am that fish sitting flapping around in barely any water. That is how I felt arriving back to America.
Drained and dried up. The Mission field has hardly been romanticized or idealized in my mind, from the beginning. But we also had no idea the stress and strain and drain that presses in on you that then leaves you feeling empty and needing to be filled again and again with God’s Word and the Holy Spirit and with Christian fellowship.
And if you are not filled back up, it doesn’t get better it only gets worse. And you are even more susceptible to the enemy’s attacks. And feel more like giving up and giving in and not staying in the fight.
SO that is where I was. Thankfully one month in and I feel like that water hole is growing slowly. I now can turn around in the water and maybe splash a tiny bit. We have been encouraged with the sweet fellowship and time we are spending with our dear friends and brothers and sisters in the Lord. I have been encouraged by the preaching and just sitting and hearing it without many of the circumstantial distractions and struggles that usually accompany sitting in a Zambian church service. I am encouraged and hopeful that the Lord continue’s to refresh, refuel, rejuvenate, repair and restore us.
The month has gone by fast. After the shock and awe of the first week trying to re-orient ourselves to our own culture and society I would say we are doing fine. The kids are having a great time with their friends and remembering certain things and our “life before Africa”. They have had an “open pass” of sorts to go and be with their friends whenever and soak up as much of that time as well. Especially for the older kids. They need it. Grace has been much more friendly and out-going with everyone then I ever imagined and can be see running around the church with her new friends, stopping to get candy ( sweeties) from Pastor John. Though she is ok with meeting new people she is very quick to tell each new person that she meets or that holds her or talks to her that I am her mommy. She immediately points to me and says, “thats my mommy” and will go through all the family members. She has struggles with the unsettling nature of going to different homes almost every night to meet friends for dinner, but overall for a 3 year old adopted into the family from Zambia now in America for 3 months, she is doing very well.
I have been still trying to keep track of the things I have been buying and who still needs what, alot of clothing items and some kitchen items, linens and other things I still need to buy. It has been overwhelming at times, as I feel like I am in this Y2K , stock up on everything mode.
I have bought the HUGE bags of chocolate chips to bring back, as those are a priority along with the parmesan cheese. Chocolate chip cookies, warm from the oven do wonders. Even in Zambian. Whether it is with zambians, for them or because of them.
We have been eating tortilla chips almost every chance we get and drinking up our root beer ( non alcoholic cola-like drink for my zambian friends who have never heard of it).
Visiting Starbucks for their coffee-less warmed up flavored milk drinks whenever we feel the need and Christmas is the best time to be here for that! We are anticipating hitting a few more of the restaurants on the kids lists. -Chuck E. Cheese and Cracker Barrel being among the top ones.
Lots of doctor appointments have been scheduled and the Lord was very good to us a few weeks ago. I had tried to get an appt with the pediatrician for the kids. Because our insurance is a global coverage I was not confident it would cover the routine physicals. So when I called the office lady said no he is not taking patients without insurance. I almost begged and said we will pay for them just please let us see him. She was very skeptical but called back the next day and said that he was willing to see them, but the catch was that he only had one day available AND he would see them for FREE.
Yes free. We love to hear those words, but think about FREE for 6 children’s doctor visits. That is at least worth $500. And it was very exciting. He even did Grace’s immunizations (which sadly was 5 shots- poor little girl!) for free which saved probably another 50 plus dollars. So we were very thankful and blessed.