September 5, 2009


Finally! Blogger is allowing me to upload again. Forgive my five-month silence and thank you for the gentle - and the not-so-gentle - prompts to keep writing. A day feels incomplete to me until I have poured some words out as my soul seeks to make sense of the world in which I am living.

Now, here, in a land so different from the one in which I have spent most of my life, I need to write more than ever before. As I write, I hold circumstances with all their attendant joys and sorrows up to the brightness of the sun. I peer closely to find meaning in each shifting glint. As I construct sentences and paragraphs, revisiting events and conversations of the day, I glean meaning from the state of affairs that stretch my soul each day. I seek to discard the chaff and, hopefully, retain the nourishing life lessons that shift me closer to being all I can be, giving all that I can give.

There are days when the arrogance of my human soul astounds me as I attempt to draw logical understanding from unutterable suffering. Mostly, there is no sense to be made. On other days, when my soul is tired and needs to rest from trying to understand all it witnesses, I rest from thinking and I just feel. Oh what a relief that is! Even when the feelings are deep and painful and shake me to the core, it is a relief to lay down my need to understand.

I am learning just to be. I am seeking to master the art of breathing slowly and deeply through each minute and each circumstance, no matter what comes my way. I have entrusted my soul to someone greater and my circumstances to the goodness of the God who designed me for the life I have been called to live. Ah the peace in trusting!

Since my last post, life has moved apace as it only can in Mozambique. I have watched again and again as friends and coworkers grieve the deaths of friends and family members. I have witnessed three Mozambican marriages, welcomed several new babies into the Zimpeto family, moved house for the fourth time this year, sadly farewelled old friends and welcomed new ones.

I had my first run-in with a shapa (public minivan) as its driver tried to squeeze between my vehicle and the truck coming in the opposite direction. The shapa driver was obviously a man of faith – after all, faith is being sure of what we do not see: he tried to get his vehicle through a gap that did not exist and he succeeded. Despite the shapa catching my side mirror, there was no damage to my vehicle. Note to self: never assume two lanes mean two lanes.

Here at the Centre, I continue to struggle with the language, inflicting my appalling but gradually improving grammar on anyone who stops long enough to listen. I will never surrender! The toddlers now occasionally understand and respond to my Portuguese. The teenagers still laugh. Some of the little ones have come close to mastering my name: more “Winda” than Wendy but that’s OK with me, especially when grubby fingers are reaching for a hug while faces beam, content and satisfied and asking for nothing more than a cuddle and a smile. And a song sung to the strumming of my new guitar, sent to me by some school students in Sydney, Australia. Thank you!

Days have turned into weeks and weeks into months as the year flies past. The mild, perfectly pleasant winter is now making way for spring and I am continually challenged to make the most of every moment of my days. And still I can say with all my heart that I would be nowhere else in the world.