I’ll also be helping from afar a bit. Sending templates and beading designs and helping them keep the money sorted and organized as they continue to sell the girls things out of CCC. I realize the money and organization of it will likely be disastrous, as these things often go when the person heading up something is no longer there. All the more reason why I’m glad a return trip is on the horizon.
So I’m excited that a return and check-in trip is being talked about and planned on. But I am disappointed in myself to say, that I am glad that I am not going to be in Juba until June as was the plan a few months ago. Just being back for those few days even without the girls was enough to remind me why I feel exhausted and burnt-out. Juba is hard. Living where I worked and with 37 children was hard. It was a give-your-all sort of situation, and I did. I gave my all and I was happy to do it. But it has left me with very little energy or in reserve. Even though I loved my work and I loved the girls, I can’t cope with being accessible by 37 children and 15 staff all the time for more than a season.
My pace of life needs to slow down and I need to be involved in work that is less demanding for a little while. My member care team and leadership are concerned for me. It’s nice to have people I respect not be as hard on me as I am on myself. My heart is still in Africa. And I am still absolutely committed to helping vulnerable children and sharing Christ with those who have never heard. But my cup is empty. I have been emptied and these last 3 years, esp this last year, has been really hard. So I’m not stopping, but I am slowing down. I have chosen to be involved in these projects very intensely. And I am still going to be involved in helping kiddos and vulnerable women, but in a less intense way for a little while.
The next few months I’m going to be doing some illustrations for a project informing kids about sexual abuse and teaching them that their bodies belong to them. I’ll also be helping a woman working with poor non-believing women in a slum here in Nairobi. She’s training them to do bead work. A different sort of beading than I do, but I’m happy to help and learn. She is heading up the project, not me, an important distinction. I love this work, but I am happy not to be the one in charge and responsible for it for a while.
There also could be some opportunities working with Sudanese here in Nairobi. We’ll see what happens with that but I’m thrilled with the prospect of being able to help a people that I love and hopefully getting to use my Arabic!
Entering a new season that is a little ambiguous, but shaping up to be full of possibility as well as hopefully somewhat restorative.
“We belong to a generation that wants to see the results of our work. We want to be productive and see with our own eyes what we have made. But that is not the way of the God’s kingdom. Often our witness for God does not lead to tangible results… As faithful witnesses of Jesus we have to trust that our lives too will be fruitful, even though we cannot see their fruit.” Henri Nouwen