a witness to our journey
We have had an unusual year as people have traversed the ocean to bear witness to and take part in our journey here. As I sit in Kijabe with 5 of my residency colleagues from UAB having just left, I marvel at the web that weaves together both sides of this crazy world – a quilting of our lives that I don’t always know how to process, but I stand in grateful awe.
This year, I have had friends from fellowship, friends from residency, kids we used to babysit, mentors, people that know us only through our blog, strangers, and acquaintances all make the trip across the ocean to come to Kijabe to meet us in our joy, our pain, our triumphs, and our struggles.
It is a humbling thing, to have someone stop their life to come share in yours for a bit – to bring rest, enthusiasm, laughter, new ways to do things. They have written protocols with me, agonized by bedsides with me, walked with giraffes with us, marveled at the Great Rift Valley and the sunset over the Mara, and shared countless cups of chai and samosas.
Some visits, I have hosted well, others the exhaustion has caught up with me and I have retreated as my introverted extrovert self tries to push through the weariness and fight to meet expectations on all fronts.
“How can our visit be helpful, not draining?” a recent visitor asked.
David and I sat in silence, not sure why the answer wasn’t coming. We didn’t know – the list of marshmallows and Harry Potter didn’t cover the deep needs. Because what we need day-to-day is different, and it is rarely intuitive. But as we have tried to process it all –sometimes asking for things we didn’t need or being unable to articulate what we do need, we realize the crux of it is this. . .
For our friends, when they come, we want to be able to share this life we have. To stand side by side with people and let them see the passion and sacrifice this life takes with it’s bumpy roads, unpredictable water and electricity, less than perfect but constantly improving systems and beautiful people and purpose. We want to watch people grow to love it as we do.
Sometimes it happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. Kijabe is a unique place with its quirks and quoibles, perks and pain. But it is our home, and we share it with deep, exhausted joy and fierce protectiveness.
And we marvel each day as we add to the numbers the people who have broken bread with us on this continent and caught just a glimpse of who we are in this place, and we hope, what God is doing here as well.