Sunday, June 8, 2014

Keep Going

Four weeks ago my school semester ended. I honestly don't know how I got through it with my sanity still mostly in tact. Not going to lie, coming straight back into a university setting after spending 5 months in rural Africa was difficult. University has a was of sucking people's lives into a scholastic vortex where nothing else exists except classes, papers, tests, projects. With the occasional late night Jimmy Johns run. I desperately did not want my life sucked back into this bubble.
 I shouldn't have worried, because for at least the first month all I did was wander around saying to myself "what just happened?". Then I moved on to the stage where I would sit in class with a look of unbelief on my face thinking, "Last month I was riding a motorcycle through millet fields to a village where I would pound peanuts while people would dance. Today I am sitting in a Math Appreciation class." Finally, I moved on to the crying stage where I would show up at my dear friend's apartment sobbing about how much i missed West Africa, and she would feed me cookie dough and listen.

Me and the dear friend

But as much as I didn't want to get caught up in the "American College Kid" bubble, there was another bubble I wanted to resist even more. It was the "Returning Expat who can't move on with life" bubble. Maybe you've met these people before. I know I have. All they talk about is the country they were in and they never seem to continue on with life after returning home. Everything is always related back to what life was like overseas. I don't want to act like those 5 months were not hugely life altering for me and that I grew in so many ways, but I also don't want to get stuck in a time I can't relive.

As I had been thinking through all of this, I couldn't think of a better way to get out of myself than to invest in others. That has really been the key to not getting stuck. I knew that I wanted to be involved in some type of ministry this summer to help me keep going and growing. I considered several different opportunities from working at a summer camp to working at a inner city womens' shelter to engaging West Africans in New York City. But none of these options just screamed "yes" to me. I had filled out an application to do summer missions in Louisiana when I heard about another opportunity in Arizona. I ignored it at first, but God just kept bringing it back into my mind.


So, long story short, I'm in Phoenix for the summer. And I love it. Yes, its hot, but I keep reminding myself that I lived in hotter last year with no air conditioning or pools. I'm working with a church plant that started in February. It has been amazing to watch a church get started. I personally know nothing about planting churches, and I have learned a lot already. I am going to try to post more about Wellspring and the work going on here, since many have been praying for me.