It’s a really warm and quiet morning here along the mighty Zambezi River where I sit writing this. The river flows with twists and turns and churning currents much like my emotions over the last few days. I feel like I am on an emotional rollercoaster, up, down, left and right.
Monday afternoon (14 March) at 4:30pm we rejoiced at finally getting the papers for the vehicle. This signals that we eventually succeeded in getting free from the tentacles of Lusaka that were holding us in limbo. We excitedly rushed back to Arthur and Kim’s home. Immediately we hurriedly packed up our lives that had unravelled during our very delayed stay in Lusaka. We wasted no time and prepared for a very early departure at 4 am Tuesday morning. Lest we fall again into the clutches of this exciting comfortable city.
The Emotional Rollercoaster Begins
It was time to move on. Our time there had not just unravelled our carefully packed cargo, but it was also starting to undo all the emotional, spiritual and mental preparation that we made for our lives in Chavuma.
You see, in order to live in the bush, away from your creature comforts you need to process things. First, you need to prepare yourself and your heart. You need to lay down your SELF and ask God to do a work in your heart. Then you need to gear up with the armour of God so that you can stand against the attacks of the devil.
I think I was ready when we left Cape Town. But then we got stuck in Lusaka for 6 weeks with all the creature comforts around us. We got comfortable at the Ledgerwood’s home. There was no time to prepare for the emotional rollercoaster. It all happened so fast. The contrast between the comfort of the Ledgerwood home and the poverty and deficiency of Chavuma is stark!
We arrived here in Chavuma on Wednesday evening (16 March). We wasted no time in unpacking the vehicle and setting up our home. After settling in, I realised a few things which shook my emotional stability.
The Emotional Rollercoaster Intensifies
I realised that I forgot some things at which I desperately need here in Chavuma. I left all my carefully packed Durban curry powder and our salt and pepper grinder in Cape Town. I forgot some things in Lusaka too. I forgot the feta cheese in the Ledgerwoods’ fridge. Tragically, I also forgot the gifts of jam and chilli sauce in the fridge! These were gifts I received from new friends we made in Lusaka. In the rollercoaster of our departure from Lusaka I also forgot to buy vegetables! It’s a simple thing but it makes a big difference to me. Things we take for granted in Cape Town like carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, butternut, or cucumber – we can’t find them here in Chavuma unless we grow it ourselves. How long would it be before I get to taste that again now?
As we were driving the long 2-day journey, it struck me how very far out and remote we were in Chavuma. I also realised that my friends were very far away and that it would be very hard for them to come visit. Many of our friends have said they want to visit but the reality is that many will struggle to get here. Time and money will prohibit many who want to visit. I realised that this was for a very long time and that Cape Town and even Lusaka was very far away.
Emotions Entrusted to God
All these realisations overwhelmed me and I broke down. I didn’t want anyone to see my tears because I was ashamed of them. I was ashamed of my weakness. I want to be strong and able to serve God here in Chavuma but I am not. How can I be a missionary here and make a difference when I can’t even hold it together? I turned to God and prayed. I sent messages to my friends and asked them to stand with me in prayer. I felt lifted in my heart. Not because of my own strength but because of God and because of people like you who are standing with us in prayer and holding us up to God.
Thank you for your love and prayers.