Hello everyone, greetings and love from Kiabakari!
A lot has happened since I last wrote and it has been an interesting and challenging few months.
For those of you who don't know, in July I wrote a request to extend my stay here in Kiabakari. It is truly insane and inconceivable i have been here for two years! Over the past year two years I have started my first job post-unniversity, moved thousands of miles from home, learned a new language, been immersed in a new culture and new community. I have been and am, immensely happy and extremely grateful for my experiences in Kiabakari. There really isn't a way I can fully express how much I have enjoyed living here and how much this place has woven it's way into and around my heart!
I was recently in Arusha for about a month to get physical therapy on my arm (also for those of you who don't know I fractured my elbow in an accident early in July and still haven't regained my range motion, it's getting better now, it's just experiencing what barbie does daily because my arm is always slightly bent). Anyway, when I first arrived in Arusha, I was told I needed to go home asap and have surgery on my arm. I was then told if this was the case, my term here would be finished and my friends in Kiabakari would have to pack my things and ship them to me. Wooosh... Devastation...
The morning after this I woke up to an email from a doctor who said I should stay and do PT as originally planned. That should always be the first course of action. Hallelujah!! No words. I was and am so happy I didn't have to end my time here in this way.
A couple weeks later the task force for the churches that sent me had a meeting to decide whether or not my extension would be possible... (I should say, no one else is being sent after me, and extending my stay would mean another year of funding...) needless to say, I wasn't too hopeful to get a yes...
I got the letter, it was Saturday night I was already in bed and I couldnt bring myself to read it. So, I prayed instead. It wasn't that i was praying for extension and asking God to give me my way(even though we all like to do that at times). Rather, I was praying for peace no matter what the decision was. It was then that I realized something. As much as I would love to stay longer in Kiabakari, and as hard as it will be to leave, I shouldn't waste too much time being upset, because.... Drum roll... God can and will use us, wherever we are. And not just by location, but wherever we may be in life. We just need to be willing to be used...(so why waste lots of time being down when we life doesn't go exactly how we would like it to!-easier said than done I know...but true none the less eh?)
I think as soon as that thought occurred to me, God was shouting DUH at me. So often I think people feel what I am doing is exrtra-ordinary. Well, while it may be out of the ordinary, it by no means is extra ordinary. I am doing something I love. I am loving and living life, and trying to follow Christ's example (as many of you do too) it just happens to be in a small village in Northern Tanzania. I wake up, work, eat, sleep just like you, wherever you may be located.
After feeling at peace with whatever decision the email may bring, I opened it. The decision has been made and I will be coming home in December in time for Christmas with my friends and family and I will not be returning for another year here in Kiabakari.
While it still breaks my heart to know soon I will blink and have to be saying goodbye to my family and friends here, I have decided to enjoy each moment left, (and preferably blink as little as possible).
It brings me great comfort to know God is everywhere (how amazing is that!) and he will use me and stay with me wherever life brings me. We are all called to love others and be a light in this at many times dark world. Whatever we may be doing wherever it may be, from a smile, going out of your way to help someone or standing up against injustice. And that is what I intend to do no matter where I end up! (So for those of you itching to ask what's next?? That's my answers for now and other details will fall into place in their own time!) One door is closing and I'm certain another will open :)
Until then, peace and blessings to you all. I can't promise to take time to write another blog post while I'm still here, but who knows. If not, thanks for those who followed my time here! :) your love and support means more than you can know! And your prayers are much appreciated as I prepare to leave close some doors and transition into the next open doors (not sure what they are, but confident they'll appear:)
"Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored." Earl Nightingale
"A very small percentage of the people in this world will actuallyexperience and live today. So many people will be stuck on another day, another time that traumatized them and caused them to spirituallystutter so they miss out on this day."— Steve Maraboli