I am feeling valiant, having survived showering and washing my hair in cold water – but at least here in The Gathering Place (Todd and Patsy’s home) we have running water, and toilets - not bucket baths and latrines (with or without doors and roofs).
I am sitting on the balcony with Buddy – and as Bruce Mason told me he felt, feeling so much more alive than normal. It is very hard to stay focused, as there are distracting unknown bird calls, herds of zebu and goats being taken by, and people wandering past, some carrying bundles on their heads. I was overcome with tears of joy at finally being here.
The trials of the last two weeks before getting here are in the past. As we prepared things seemed to keep on going wrong. I could not sleep because my shoulders, knees, neck, wrists(and sometimes a hip and ankle) were all aching. The two donated laptops were a great challenge to clean up and get working (many thanks to Chuck Saunders for being a knight-in shining armour and getting them to behave), then Simon’s car’s warning lights all came on and the internet connection went down. On the flight from America to Chicago I was gripped with fear about what we are about to do, and doubting that I could do it.
My joints are all happy again, the computers are still working and all the flights worked fine. Then this morning, I was reading in Tom Wright’s The Early Christian Letters for Everyone: “When a Christian is tested it shows something real is happening. ….. But you wouldn’t be tested unless you were doing something serious. Mechanics don’t test scrap metal; they test cars that are going to face tough conditions. Those who follow Jesus are not simply supposed to survive. They are supposed to count, to make a difference in the world.”
Here’s hoping we will be able to make a difference for a short while in the lives of the people we meet here in Toliara, for they are going to make a difference to us.