What’s in the bag?

Our "new" bag!

Our “new” bag!

This week saw us acquire our first bag to pack and take to Tsumkwe. We decided that our existing cases were not right for the job and we required something different. What we needed, so we felt, was a bag that we could carry on our backs as well as carry like a standard suitcase. It needed to be light-weight, so we maximised our baggage allowance and strong in order to hold all of the stuff we have yet to decide that will need to go with us! It caused me to think about what we take when we go……

What we pack in terms of physical items will have little bearing on how we manage on the ground. To be effective in Tsumkwe what we carry with us in terms of qualities will be far more significant. We will be dependent on God in ways that we are not here because of our understanding of and familiarity with the language,culture and norms of Australia. We will be learning in every aspect of life in Tsumkwe and so we will need to be teachable which requires humility. There will be different ways of thinking amongst the San from those that we are used to and undoubtedly different ways of working. Our attitudes may require change particularly with regard to time and work but possibly in other ways as yet unknown to us, which means we need to be flexible and adaptable. There will be a variety of customs, priorities and practices, that will be new to us, some may make more “sense” to us, others maybe less so, but all will need acceptance and tolerance in order that individuals may be honoured and respected for who they are. Accountability will be required of us before our organisation, ministry team, home church, prayer and financial partners which calls us to be dependable. When things become difficult, dull, or don’t seem to be productive it will be necessary to persevere. Lastly we will have to turn our hands to unfamiliar practical tasks (washing clothes by hand, use & care of mosquito nets, digging a latrine…who knows exactly??) that will be required for everyday living in a different environment. All this can seem quite daunting unless one remembers the first quality on the list which is dependence on God without whom none of the rest would be possible for long when undertaken in our own strength. Praise God! We serve the One true God who is with us always and who desires good things for us!