Saturday, August 2, 2014

Honesty on life abroad

I thought I would do a post and just be honest about living life overseas. As you will see there are so many things we love about living where we do, but there are so many things back in the States that we miss terribly. I think our hardest times are when we know our family back home is all together celebrating a special occasion or holiday and we can’t just jump in the car and meet them. It would be a minimum 30 hours on a plane (with small kids) and about $6000 for us to get home and to be honest I am not sure if the money for our tickets or traveling with kids is the worst.


#1 FAMILY-Our sweet families are top on this list. We do miss our parents, grandparents, and extended family a lot but having our little nieces and nephew grow up and not get to see them but every 2-3 years is so tough.

Family can sometimes not be so supportive of what we do and don’t understand why we could “choose” to live so far away. Several people in our extended family actually seem angry with us and it hurts a lot, as they don’t understand  fully the calling God has on our life and He is the One who has us here. BUT I do have to say that the majority of our family back home are supportive of what we do. We are so blessed as well with an amazing mission family the Lord has provided for us throughout southern Africa with whom we try to spend holidays and special occasions.


#2 CHURCH-We miss worshipping in our own heart language and with songs we grew up with. We miss dropping our kids off in a Sunday school class and going to worship and getting to hear a message without interruption. We miss the 1 hour church services..our services here do last about 2 1/2 to 3 hours long and we have our kids the entire time and trying to keep them quiet is certainly tough. If we take a snack or a coloring book, every African kid around us comes to try to eat or color. BUT when we worship here…it is genuine worship and there is dancing. When a Batswana comes to know the Lord it is a true life change, you don’t normally see a “lukewarm” church here.


#3 CUSTOMER SERVICE-There is just no customer service here. There are long lines you wait in to go pay all  your bills and this normally takes a full day. Forget someone coming to fix an issue you may have that day…maybe in a week or so they will show up. BUT the slow pace of life has its perks. When someone comes to visit they truly visit for hours and when we show up to someone's house to share the gospel we are always welcomed in and everyone stops what they are doing to listen.


#4 FOOD-Who would have thought I would ask for Captain Crunch for my birthday present from my parents. Silly I know but I love the cereal aisle in the States and our cereal aisle here only consists of Bran Flakes and Rice Krispy's…yuck!! When we have teams come, we often ask for cereal, pop tarts, pepperoni, swedish fish, and skittles…comfort foods!!! Oh how I miss going to Walmart and getting pre-made meals (Stouffer’s frozen lasagna) and just throwing them in the oven. Cooking everything from scratch, gets old and all I feel like I do is hang out in the kitchen. No dishwashers either, so washing every dish by hand is how we roll (Brent and I have always had an agreement that if I cook  then he cleans, I love this!!) BUT I have to say we eat much healthier here than when we are in the States. OH AND Dr. Pepper…how we miss you!!!


#5 HOME-From the mountains of WV to Washington DC to the beach to good old Raleigh…we miss the places we have grown to call “home”. Meeting at Jimmie Cone for an ice cream, riding the 4 wheeler through the mountians, taking our dog Maddie for a swim at the beach, or just sitting in our childhood homes visiting with family and old friends  are all things we miss from being in our hometowns. Botswana has become “home” for us, but I have to admit that sometimes when I am here I yearn to be “home” in the States and sometimes when we are in the States I want to be “home” in Botswana. I think we realize more and more that when we feel unsettled that this earth is not our “home” and we truly won’t feel at home until we are with our Savior.


Some days are more of a struggle then others, if you are reading this please don’t think it was written in a complaining spirit as it wasn’t. It is just a missionary trying to be honest with her struggles and everyday things that she misses. We are so thankful that the Lord has us here in Botswana and we love the Batswana so much! We also love  and miss the special people and places in our lives from the States.