Sunday, February 15, 2015
While I was at MTI (Missionary Training International) the summer of 2013 we learned about the process of being "transplanted" into a new culture. Being a gardener, I loved this analogy and have remembered it well. I can truthfully say that I now understand the nuts and bolts of it! First, in order to transplant a plant to a different location, a new hole must be dug and prepared. I think this correlates to my training process; MTI and language school. Both were so critical to a successful transplant from the U.S. to Africa. The second step is to dig up the plant, being careful not to damage the roots. This correlates to all the goodbyes, packing up my things, selling my car, and basically disengaging myself from my past life. This process was difficult and taxing, but with the Lord's help, I think that most of my important roots (my relationship with the Lord, family, and friends) came out intact. The next step is to put the plant in the new hole and apply fertilizer, mulch and water so that it won't die. Often during this step the plant droops a little, has a risk of dying, or not growing well. I am definitely in the middle of this step right now, and feeling a little "droopy". I feel very out of place in this new culture; still feeling my way around and trying not to make a misstep, still struggling with the language, dealing with heat and BUGS! But a few things in this step are going well; I am getting settled in my new house and all the boxes are unpacked. Unfortunately some things broke in the transport, and somehow a whole box of stuff didn't arrive. I think it went to my storage, instead of getting shipped here (Ugh!) I have obtained my carte de sejour (I'm legal for two years, and will not have to renew until February of 2017). I have bought or obtained some needed items for my home. I am starting to make relationships here. I taught my first class (a review of their OB course), and prepared my first exam in French. During this stage, I am holding onto the Lord tightly, trying to keep that root firmly intact. It is the only thing that will keep me "alive" during this stage. Colossians 2:6&7 have been helpful in reminding me of the importance of this: "Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude". I am definitely filled with gratitude for what God is doing in my life and I am looking forward to the next step in the process- that of being successfully transplanting and thriving in my new environment. I covet your prayers as I continue through the process.