Happy New Year!
We had a wonderful Christmas, hey, we're still celebrating actually!
Eric's mom and dad ventured across the ocean to visit us in Kumbo, it was so special seeing family during the holidays! Too quickly, their visit was over and we watched them drive off in a cloud of thick dust. I was left meditating on their visit and thinking about how having visitors is such a good opportunity to get fresh vision.
This time of year in Cameroon is very dry and there is a trade wind that blows across West Africa called the Harmattan that brings with it a chill and lots of dust. Dust covers everything and the whole landscape, typically lush, becomes dry and dim. Similarly, we are at a dry point in our mission, where we aren't feeling the excitement and newness of the culture anymore and we face a lot of tedium at the endless chores of just plain life here. The figurative dust has settled over our feelings about our mission, we're just trudging along getting by, doing the work, but sometimes not feeling what was once such a magical and wondrous experience.
Getting ready for visitors you clean up: you wipe the dirt from the bookshelves and hidden corners of the rooms (knowing that it will last not even hours before it's replaced by a fresh coat) and put the house in its best light. You also dust off your perceptions and try to see things in a way to help your visitors enjoy the culture. You try to remember what is exciting to see and new and different or odd. And your visitors help by putting the polish on it all with their enthusiasm and fresh perspective. You see through the newness of their perceptions.
I feel like my spirit is all brightened up by this visit. I'm reflecting on our time here: the end of this past school term; who we've met; what we've accomplished. I'm feeling particularly glad to be beginning this new year with such gratefulness in my heart towards God for bringing us to Cameroon and for the opportunity to be his servant. I'm glad for new friendships and for the work we are given to do. We have only six months left of our stay here, only six months to savor this adventure, only six months to serve. Such a short amount of time but I'm starting in dust free.