Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Gain or a Loss?

Dan asked me an interesting question this morning. He said, "If you were suddenly back in your hometown for good and no longer in South Africa, would you feel like you were gaining something or losing something?"

My answer was immediate, "Except for gaining my family and friends, I would feel a complete sense of loss." And I suddenly realised - as much as I complain about South Africa and as often as I battle with the cultural differences - I would be heartbroken if we had to leave.

I would miss the fresh juices, the summer thunderstorms, the subtropical foliage, rugby, cricket, biltong and braais. But most of all I would miss the people, for they are truly the country's greatest asset. The smiles, the resilience, greeting people in three, four, five different languages in one day... there is no other place on earth like South Africa.

Yes, I miss Starbucks and Target and ice cream that's made with cream. But that's just stuff. When it comes to significant things, my life and ministry are here in South Africa. And that makes the cultural frustrations worth pushing through.


jonna said...

So happy to read this post. It is an encouragement to me!

Annie said...

You know when you first get married you're totally in love and overlook all of your spouses faults? And then after several years of marriage, it's sometimes easier to point out the faults rather than focus on the things that made you fall in love in the first place?

It's like that when you move to another country as well. Sometimes it's good to pause and remember why you moved in the first place.

(I'm preaching to me, by the way, and not you!) :-)

Carrie said...

I wish there was a "Like" button for this post - I would have clicked it many times. I left my a bit of my heart and myself in each country where we worked and now that we are back in the States with no plans to leave again in the forseeable future, there are days when I feel like I'm missing a lot. Be blessed and be a blessing as you serve Him in S.A.!