Hi! This is Lori writing – my first ever time writing a blog post. I’m sure it won’t be my last.
In my couple of weeks here in Nauta I have discovered some things about myself that I hadn’t thought of as being problematic.
I am really uncomfortable using matches. In the UK this isn’t a problem – I can strike a match to light a candle; if I can blow it out before the flame gets anywhere near my fingers that’s fine. My real issue is putting my fingers anywhere near a live flame. Where we are living has a gas cooker without working automatic ignition. To use it – even to make a mug of tea or coffee – requires the use of a match to light the ring. I spent an entire week allowing Neil to light the gas for me. I am quite proud of myself that I have now managed to this for myself once!
I am used to living in a relatively silent world – I don’t listen to music very often and generally avoid places that are very busy and noisy. Here it is noisy all the time (or so it seems). The first time we walked into town the noise and bustle was overwhelming. Not at all what we are used to. It is noisy when I go to sleep and noisy when I wake up. Thankfully I am becoming able to tune it out to some degree and I am sure my tolerance will improve. Who knows, when I am back in the UK maybe it will seem too quiet.
I am very much a creature of habit when it comes to meal times. I like cereal or oats for breakfast and then a main meal and a sandwich meal (or similar) at roughly the same time every day. I also like variety in my food with plenty of fruit and vegetables. This is going to be a challenge. I am going to have to learn to be more flexible; to take what’s on offer when it’s on offer. I need to learn about shopping at the market. Actually, shopping is another thing. In the UK I wander round a supermarket picking up what I want, only speaking to people if I meet someone I know, and then use the self-checkout to pay for my purchases. Not in Nauta! Here you have to ask for what you want – you might have to visit several shops to find it all – and then you leave your goods on the side while you go and pay. Only then can you collect them. Everything comes in plastic bags unless you refuse them.
One final thing that I dislike – being unwell when I am away from the creature comforts of home.
These might seem like fairly big challenges at the moment but, in reality, are only minor difficulties. They are nothing compared to the challenge faced by four of the pastors attending last week’s training who travelled five days by boat just to get here – that is what overcoming obstacles really looks like. It shows a commitment to learning and growing in God that is humbling.
In all this I come back to the truth that I am here because I believe that is where God wants me and, as it says in Psalm 28: 7 (NIVUK), “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”