"Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use. God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be." - My Utmost for His HighestIt's been an interesting time of looking back (in a blur!) as my parents prepare to leave Tanzania for their home, jobs, and "life" in the States. We've done a lot - climbed a mountain and got altitude sickness, been on safari, met Compassion kids and did the spice tour on Zanzibar. Not to mention driving all over the country, learning a bit of Swahili, cooking meals from scratch and learning how to tie a kanga! It was funny to hear someone describe our relationship as reversed - with Marie and I as the parents, and mom and dad as the babies, here in the Land of Tanz. That really explains it to a T. I've wondered throughout just what my parent's impression of my "home" and life here - and those around me - might be making, but didn't get much feedback till now. I'm sure they were still taking it all in. It's funny how many these things don't make much of an impression on me anymore - things like not having safe drinking water available from the tap - or even within their village - for people to use... or seeing people live in small 2 room mud houses with 3 families and watching the kids get excited about eating rice. Or realizing the truths about Islam and witchcraft and everything else that is a part of the heritage and normal daily lives of many people around me every day. I can't decide if this is bad - desensitization - or if it's good, meaning I'm coping and adjusting and living in this place!?
Going back to the quote above... It's funny that sometimes we don't see what we're doing along the way, or why. It's been easy to wonder why I'm here teaching MKs instead of working with the poorest of the poor. I know it's because I'm doing my job that other families are able to reach out and do more than I ever could by myself for these people... but sometimes it's still a feeling of "could I be doing more?!" Especially as I gather my teaching-persona, prepare my classroom, and dive in to another year of teaching third grade... and think about what else I can, should, or might want to do along the way! The comparison game is always a dangerous one, and not one we're called to play. But in the meantime, it's awesome to remember that God has me here for a purpose - and that my maybe one small part of that is so that my family could catch a glimpse of people who live life around the world, a bit differently from how we grew up!
It never ceases to amaze me how we measure ourselves by standards that even Jesus didn't use. I wonder what God will be teaching ME tomorrow?!
Side note: If you ever get the opportunity - or can MAKE the opportunity - to visit a missionary around the world where they live, do it. You have no idea how much you're going will bless them - and enable them to have someone to relate to after the fact. And then, you have no idea what you'll find waiting for you, either... God has a lot to teach us in the places we'd never expect!