the last nine months, in short.
(an attempt at journaling)
i arrived back in kenya, three days ago. so far, it’s been a surreal sort of walking along roads i still vaguely know.
but, before all of that:
i left johannesburg last may, and took a (long) layover in greatham, england. there, i spent two glorious months at l’abri, resting and seeking and cooking brazilian foods and drinking tea, and loving and singing and late-night fairy-taling in fields, and hurting and learning and worshipping and reading and walking and generally living. living well.
i realize thats not really a fair summary, but i’m not sure there is one. it was an incredible time and gave me great hope for a new earth.
i learned a lot in those two month, not the least of which was the increasing importance of home, and of being human, and the decreasing importance of journalism in my life.
i left l’abri singing “swing low, sweet chariot” and crying a thousand (surprise).
i arrive back home, memphis, in july. there, i settled into six months of life. life, in the fullest sense i know it. my time was filled with sweet moments: holding tay-tay at the hospital, dria running (every time!) to greet me from down the street, scrabble with my mother, early morning coffee with william and jamin, sitting on the front porch with kay-kay, illegal christmas lights, camping with my sister, coffee with richard, seeing a workshop built from the foundation up, the birth of two babies, (basically, there is too much. too much happiness to recall.)
there were moments pulling into my driveway that i felt so happy that i thought my heart would burst. moments when i felt such love, that i couldn’t help but tell whomever was in the room, “i love EVERYONE.” and in those moments, i did.
toward the end of my time in memphis, we invited everyone over to the cove for a time of fellowship and prayer. i was able to share some stories about the street kids in nairobi, and how i felt god was calling me there. most everyone i loved gathered together in a room and bore witness to what god has been doing. the children in memphis got to learn about the children in nairobi, and we prayed. we prayed, and we remembered that there will be a day soon when we will not miss one another. when we will be gathered together, forever, and know what love is. when community will be eternal, and illuminated by jesus. and when we will all sit on the shore together, and eat fish.
now, as i mentioned, i’m back in nairobi. leaving memphis was certainly the hardest thing i’ve done in my life thus far. i’m praying muchly for the faith to believe that i’m not leaving what i love forever. faith to believe that there is, in fact a new earth (or a 5d, if you prefer) where friendships will be forever, and everything will be in the light of Christ’s love.
so, here. here i’m thankful to be reunited with friends i love. here, also, the weather is a perfect 80 every day, and 50 each night. i spent the day yesterday braving public transportation (matatus) for the first time, and catching up, eating sukuma with eunice.
this morning i walked down my street to christ church, where i was sad to find that the rev. tom is no longer vicar. but, that small chapel still feels like home, in a way that few places do. i was reminded that sometimes god works once we step out in belief, and that those who sow in tear shall reap with shouts of joy. i heard the gospel, and i sang hallelujah.
as i’m trying to make this place home, i see reminders that god has, in fact, the whole world in his hands. riding home in a hot, crowded matatu today, the song “wavin’ flag” comes on. intstantly my mind is filled with beautiful images: rebecca’s harka children singing the song, beloved memphis children dancing in the apartment at a birthday party. and i’m reminded that our lord is lord of all of these places. and all of these people. and he is kind, and loving. and i feel it.
oh, and on a less serious note: i have a sunburn from an afternoon of swimming at the ymca. take that, north america!