I’ve been in Tanzania exactly a month now. Up to this point (and maybe I should be ashamed to say this) I haven’t felt homesick at all. This place and these people feel so natural to me that it doesn’t not feel like home being here.
But yesterday and this morning, I have been spending my time in bed with a stomach bug that has prevented me from working in the hospital or even leaving the house that I am currently living in. If anything is going to make you miss your own bed and your own bathroom and having your family around, it is being sick.
So, admittedly, yesterday I was feeling quite homesick. And in a moment of weakness, I asked God to make the time go a little faster so I would be able to be there quicker.
But as I was journaling and reading my Bible in the afternoon, I came across this passage:
“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”
I flipped back to the journal entry I had written the night before I left to go on the short term trip to Tanzania way back in December of last year. I recall clearly the anxiety and frustration I was having that night. My family, only the day before, had gotten back from a trip to Mexico that was meant to celebrate Christmas and my mom being in good health after her bout with cancer. That whole day had been spent doing a family Christmas with relatives so we could squeeze it in before I left for Tanzania. It had been a hard semester in school and for once, I just wanted a period of time where I could be home. I was asking God why He was sending me to Tanzania, what difference could I make in two weeks anyway? I hardly knew any of the kids who were going on the trip with me, I didn’t want to travel for 24+ hours, and I didn’t want to waste the rest of my break on this trip. And most of all, I didn’t want to encounter the hopelessness and poverty I so earnestly thought would be present in Africa.
But the next morning, I woke up and I left, just as God had planned for me to do.
And now here I am, six months later, back in the country I fell in love with on a trip I didn’t even want to go on. What a gift. What an opportunity. What a testament to God’s faithfulness.
This morning, my heart swells with gratitude towards a God who always knows what He is doing, who is always faithful, who gave me the unique and wonderful opportunity to come to Tanzania not once, but twice, in the last year and show me all the wonderful things that He is doing here. A God who loves me enough to push me out of my comfort zone and support me when my foot begins to slip.
God is so good. Always.