18 weeks in Zambia have gone by in a kaleidoscope of quiet mornings, long days, late nights and oh, so many experiences. With this week I have entered the final segment of my time here. Only 6 weeks until I go home.
To be perfectly honest I’m ready to go home. I wouldn’t say I tired so much as say I’m full. Although, I am tired. But more than that, I’ve learned so much, seen so much, experienced so much… like a sponge that is so completely saturated it couldn’t possibly hold any more water. I’m feeling a bit like that sponge.
What’s amazing to me is that every day is still different. One hundred and thirty days in Africa and still each one is different. Each day has it’s own unique joys and struggles, frustrations and victories. Each day there’s something new even if, like today, it’s something awful. It’s something that collides into my sense of normal and fractures it into harsh reality. It makes an impact on me and moves me (hopefully) forward.
I had a lot of preconceived notions about missions work before coming here. It’s definitely not what I was expecting. Working at the hospital is hard, it’s exhausting, it’s rewarding, it’s heavy and some days weighs severely on your soul.
I’ve always wondered what Jesus was really talking about when he told us to count the cost before going all in on this thing. Having this small window into what missions life is, now I think I get it a little bit. Living a life spent for other people has a steep cost. Walking every day in the midst of stark suffering, striving to hold back the tide of disease and death… it costs you something. In fact it costs a lot.
Every day I look at the missionary doctors here and wonder how they do it day after day. Every day I realize how much more I still have to learn about faith, hope and love. These things that we make so trite and pretend we understand.
Every day I see the difference that those who are serving make here. Every day there is an impact. Each day there is a specific purpose accomplished.
I’ve made it my goal here with the time I’ve got left to make each day count. I’m so thankful that I have just about 40 days more in Zimba. Days I can live on purpose. Days I can choose to do what I can with what I have to make an impact.
A few months ago a missionary when addressing us at retreat challenged us to begin each day with the prayer: “Lord, use me today to fulfill your purposes.”
I’ve decided to take him up on that challenge and hold onto Jesus’ promise that He is some how working all this out for the good.