A number of people have expressed to me that I must be missing much of home. Surprisingly there has not been as much as I thought when leaving Australia in early September, but there have been a few things.
I miss speaking with my children on a regular / daily basis. Basically since our arrival our internet access to home has been restricted to email only (no Skype). While I know that this is a vast improvement upon years ago when letters sent by boat were the only means of communication, it still has been a major adjustment. Our kids have been very good at responding to questions we ask them, we just don’t get much detail about what they are doing or thinking.
I miss my washing machine. While I can take comfort from the brownness of the water after I have finished hand washing the clothes in the bath, that I have removed the dirt, I know that I have not removed the stains when I go to iron and wear them next. Hand washing, rinsing and wringing men’s jeans is NOT fun either, let me tell you. Don’t get me started on double bed sheets!
I miss my shower. Many of you may not know this, but I have never been a bath kind of person. I love my showers. Here where we are staying there is no shower, so bath it is. I am getting used to washing my hair (as well as my clothes) this way, but getting used to and liking something are two different things.
I also miss walking (or exercise in general). Those of you who live in Cherrybrook can testify that I enjoy walking. We’ve been advised that for our own safety (we are easy targets as we stand out so much) that we limit our walking in the daytime in Katutura to going to the church and back (about a 5 minute walk). No one walks around after dark (7pm) unless they are looking for alcohol, a sex worker or trouble. We are thus very limited in our exercise opportunities. We do try to walk around town a bit when we go there for shopping on Thursday mornings, but it is not the same.
The other thing we both really miss is grass. Grass is very limited in Namibia. There is a park in the centre of town and one here in Katutura that have grass. The Parliament buildings also have grass around them. That is about it. In a country with little rain and which needs to conserve its water, grass is a luxury item.
Grass at Parliament House. A real special treat!
And that basically is it!
What do I find comfort in? The Word of God and the love of His people remains constant around the world. We have been greatly reminded that God’s family is big and wide and takes many forms, yet we all have common ground in Jesus.
Youth Choir at Soweto Evangelical Church - "All One in Christ Jesus"
We look up in the night sky and see the Southern Cross (not quite as easily as at home as there are so many more stars to view here) and are reminded of the Maker of Heaven and Earth and know that He watches over Namibia and Australia (and all other nations too).
We look at the city streets passing by as we travel in yet another taxi and see jacaranda trees in bloom – their purple is most distinctive in this dry landscape. This was an unexpected present from God – a real taste of home.
So while I do miss home, I also feel in some small way “home” here too and am content.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for may sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19 : 29