Now that I have successfully made my way back to the United States it is time for another update. In the last two weeks, since getting back, I have had the opportunity to reintegrate into the culture and society of southern Missouri as well as spend some quality time with my family. It has been very nice to get to see family in person again.
The flight back was long and the wait to actually get on the flight seemed even longer. During our final days in JoBurg our people group was finishing up with Ramadan and during the last ten days of Ramadan most people stay in their homes or in the mosque and focus on their prayers. Leaving the work that was being done in Johannesburg was a difficult thing for me. I had at six months in, felt as if real relationships and connections had really started to move forward and blossom. I hope that the relationships that I had the privilege of taking part in are continued with the workers there now and in the future. I will also miss the people with whom I was working with as my coworkers, during the course of the time there I think I was stretched to be able to appreciate and understand how beneficial our work dynamic was.
One of the things that struck me instantly upon arrival back into Missouri was the amount of green, water, humidity, and the lack of people everywhere! The amount of green here at home is wonderful and something to be thankful for, it’s not like this everywhere! The recent rainfalls have been amazing, having been agriculturally minded for most of my life I like that we have had more than enough rainfall to compensate for the last several years of dry times. Humidity is something that I used to always take for granted or complain about, but living without it for six months gave me a vast appreciation of how nice that moist heat really is. I feel as if I can finally breath easily again. Another immediate realization that I had upon entering Saint Louis was the lack of people and how small that city is! I think that if I put together all the people that I have seen in passing since I got back they might add up to the amount of people I saw on an average day in JoBurg. We are blessed to be living in an earthly paradise that has been a well-kept secret.
Now for what I have been doing personally! I knew that upon re-entry I would be unemployed, without transportation, and relatively homeless (I say this because I still have my family to be with and friends/old roommates that I can crash with). I have been running for the last few weeks trying to line out the finalizing touches for my degree, applying for an awesome job working with refugees here in southwest Missouri, and finding housing for the upcoming future. As soon as the university issues are lined out the job is supposed to be provided and I will be able to move into housing as soon as I do a bit of basement cleaning to make a space. All my needs are being provided for and my wants as well. One of my passions before I left was that of motorcycle riding, since I came back that motorcycle has been the primary mode of transportation, and I love every minute of it.
Thank you for continuing to read this blog and I ask that you keep the work and team in Johannesburg in your thoughts as well as continuing to keep the work going here.
Until next time,