Last week I flew to Tanzania to hang out with some friends. I met the Dixons and Wickhams last October- they had just arrived in Africa with several other new missionaries and we spent a week together studying Swahili. Then they were off to begin their new life in Africa. Over the months we stayed in touch with texts, facebook and emails between my office in Nairobi and their homes in Tanzania. My heart’s desire is to provide encouragement… to “be there” for our new missionaries and my dream was to be there- in person- in Tanzania- before I left Africa for a year.
And it happened! I had three days with the Dixons and then went on to join the Wickhams at their home for three days. With each family I spent hours hanging out– hearing about their world, driving in crazy traffic, cooking and eating, and swapping stories. I sat back and enjoyed and appreciated how far they’d come in adjusting to daily life. I also remembered what it’s like to come to Africa with little kids.
It happened in our family many years ago and I was seeing it played out again. It is the parents who make the decision to move their young family to Africa. It takes a lot of faith and confidence that you are following God, because you know you are dramatically and radically changing the lives of your children.
I spent hours with my small friends– having tea parties, chasing the kitty, reading books and playing store. I watched and listened and enjoyed them. Their parents and I looked at each over their little heads and smiled at such cleverness and zest for life.