The other day while ministering with a couple of expat ladies here in Sofia, I was asked if I have any big plans for this Christmas.
My teasing response to them was that we actually did have big plans for Christmas, really big plans as OUR FAMILY ARE GOING TO AFRICA for Christmas!
When I shared this snippet of news, I was of course teasing and and being a little ‘tongue-in-cheek’, so you can imagine my surprise when the response was “That’s amazing! Who will you be working with?”
I looked at her a little taken-a-back, “…Working?”
“Yeah. Like, which organization are you partnering with? What are you going to do there?”
And then it got awkward, because I was all, “Ooooooh. Oh. Yeah. No, it’s not like that. We’re not going on a mission, we're going on holiday… You know, just for rest and relaxation.“
I guess the response was understandable given the circles we work in and I can see how it might be counterintuitive to imagine missionaries going home to Africa as opposed to going to Africa on a mission. But that’s exactly what we’re doing. This single statement, highlighted for us yet again, what a huge novelty (and privilege) it is to be Africans serving others in a foreign country as so often it is the other way around.
So, we thought we would let everyone know that this African family is going to fly all the way across the world - home to Africa, and we are not going to dig a well, we're not going to hold any orphans, and we're not going to treat anyone for worms (unless, of course, they’re our own) tee hee hee!
What we are going to do is to go home to South Africa:- to Johannesburg and to Cape Town and we’re going there on holiday. And that’s it. Who are we going with? With each other and CJ of course. Why we’re going is for fun to see family and friends and to take some time out to rest. Oh, and Who’s footing the bill? In this case it’s our-selves 🙂 After nearly 3 years here, we are taking ourselves home for a very much needed period of rest and restoration.
We will be staying with family, visiting beautiful beaches, breathing in all that is familiar and dear to us and most importantly we will be spending Christmas with more than just the 3 of us and our guests - and rather with our extended family. We’re going to do touristy things and less touristy things and laugh and catch up and be present in the moment enjoying life. And yes, we will be on holiday but we also promise we won’t turn a blind eye to the poor. And yes, we will be relaxing, but we’ll also be doing some hard work too - working on our relationships with our family and with each other – some investing, and some reassuring, and some healing and doing the same with friends. We’re even going to try get into the bush because as AFRICAN’S the bush is in our blood and we need to find the time and space to just breathe, clear our heads and be still!!!
Above all, we are coming home with humility, because it’s such a privilege just to be able to go to Africa and an even greater privilege to call Africa home.
Our hope and desire is that after our trip home, we will be changed somehow, definitely rested, better, wiser, closer and re-energised for 2017. We would so appreciate your prayers in this regard.
We will be gone for most of December and as such we are combining our November and December Newsletters and you will get the next newsletter at the end of January 2017.
We are so excited to be going home and cannot wait to see all our family and friends again!