Three Weeks in Africa - what would I say

Three Weeks in Africa

We have officially been here for 3 weeks. Three weeks in Africa…

I’ve begun reading the biography of Lilias Trotter and I thought, “What if I kept journals like that? What a story it is to go and live in another country!”

Three Weeks in Africa - what would I say

And I thought, completely understanding that I blog pretty much in real time our life events, “What would I say, if I had such a journal, about the first weeks living in West Africa?”

Well, this is what I would say…

I would say that being here gives a new burden, a new brokenness for a country that is hurting. A country with poverty all around, with young boys who beg on every corner and along every road, with the need for guards over homes and business, with the sound of the call to prayer heard everywhere you go. A country full of life and color and smiles but yet missing the Giver of life and true joy.

I would say that I’m fully feeling the effects of numerous transitions over the past few years. as in strongly. As in I feel a deep need inside to make a space into our home and to be settled in that home. Crying tears for not being there yet.

I would say that Senegal is beautiful in rainy season. I would say that Senegal is miserable in rainy season.

I would say that I miss the conveniences of life. They seem like faraway dreams… This post pretty much sums it up. and yes, sometimes it makes me cry too.

I would say that I’m not hungry. Heat makes us all not want to eat. That and, even if we were hungry… I haven’t wrapped my brain around shopping here yet and the expense of groceries. Nor have I had the time/energy/want to start cooking fully from scratch. Can we say scrambled eggs multiple times a week?

I would say that my hair does not know what to do with itself. And I don’t know what to do with it either. To cut or not to cut? That is the question right now.

I would say that we have made some great connections in the mission community here. God has provided wonderful resources and friendships already.

I would say that the road is long to find our place here, to find our niche here. But that the needs are great and we desperately want God’s wisdom in going after HIS dreams for our time in Senegal.

I would say that having holes in my ear drums from my surgery back in 2010 was an element that I didn’t even consider, an element that I can honestly say I completely forgot about which unfortunately turned into a double ear infection within being here 3 days. Loosing hearing and dealing with infection of that kind while living in the rainy season and not having a clue to your new surroundings has been challenging to say the least.

I would say that learning French is NOT nearly enough… we must learn Serere and Wolof, at least enough of each to have a basic conversation. And we need to know when to use each language. We need to be quick at deciphering a conversation that just might contain words from all three languages. And that is daunting. But not impossible.

I would say that I miss being known and knowing those around me. I miss not having to explain in detail the who/what/why/how of our lives because we are constantly coming into contact with new people. We are meeting wonderful people! And there really isn’t anything wrong with once again explaining who we are, where we come from, why we are here, how we met, how many siblings we have, how old we were when we got married… and so on. I normally have no problem sharing such details. But I do miss being around people who already know those things about us. I miss the ability to go deeper in a conversation with someone I trust… someone who already knows me. I also miss knowing things about the people I’m with! I’m always asking the same questions right back at them… again, loving getting to know new people… but missing the feeling of already knowing. The foundation of history. God provides new relationships that grow and develop… so awesome… but it doesn’t take away from the missing of knowing and being known. of shared memories and connected pasts. {and if you are one of our new friends here reading this… you are awesome. and we are blessed. and I can’t wait to get to know you more… and I think you know exactly what I’m talking about which is a way we connect in ways old friends can not. and I love you for that… it is so complex, isn’t it? #expatnewbiespeaking}

I would say that hearing my girls cry for America and warm water and clean water and Grandmas and Grandpas and cousins and safety and AC and a job where we stay in one place about BREAKS my mommy heart into a thousand pieces and forces me to my knees to pray that God would in His love, grace and mercy make Himself fully known to my girls. That He would renew the call in their hearts and draw them into His presence. That they would feel His nearness and that He would make their days sweet.

I would say so many things… the chameleons make my girls smile, the geckos make me mad when they poop in my shower multiple times a day, the Senegalese kids are adorable as they ring our doorbell to ask for a multitude of things, the neighbors are so nice and cook food for us even though I can’t really speak their language to properly thank them… so many things.

I would say that there really are flies and mosquitoes everywhere, that feeling clean here is nearly impossible, that wearing a skirt isn’t so bad, that trying new foods with fish heads won’t kill me, that I love mornings in Africa and haven’t quite decided how I feel about nights in Africa.

I would say that a day here is exhausting. Just the little things are hard.

I would say that the whole, long, difficult process of getting here… well, that is just a set up for what is to come. The road continues.


I would say that it is worth it.

In the entirety of this list… it is worth it.

The gospel is worth it. My Jesus is worth it.

Whether I FEEL that or not, my heart trusts and my soul believes that it is true.

And as I slowly begin to find new normal and learn to love our new surroundings, the process is worth it.

The exertion of time and energy and money is worth it.

At the end of the day, during a long African night after a long African day, I will lay my head on the pillow and know that this calling is worth it all.


  1. You and your family are such blessings ! !
    To live yalls lives, as the Lord has called you to do .

    If you think about it… the sharing of your life as missionaries…. Is a Story . A beautiful life in reality as missionaries.

    Sharing the Gospel of Christ , Being there for others in need.

    I believe it is such hard work, dedication .

    I am thankful, for the work your family does, as well as the many, many other missionaries around the world.

    Thank You!!
    May yall be richly blessed in abundance of things that truly matter !!

    Much Love To You, And Your Family !!

  2. I actually found your blog on accident, but Senegal stuck out to me, and I couldn’t help but notice we are the same age- I was only in Senegal for 9 months for a short termed missions trip where I was basically a glorified babysitter. I told God I would love to be in missions…. Just not there. It was at times, isolating, too hot for this New Englander, too hot for this sensitive-skinned-girl, and too limiting for this poor foreign language learner. I ended up opting for Wolof over French, and that would be fine… Until I got out of the bush back to Dakar where French was expected of me. I say all that to say- I cannot imagine those challenges if I had had children then. I can only sympathize while reading and somewhat relating to the rough conditions- then, I read your summation- He is worth it. Jesus is worth it, and I am so glad you have him as your source. I’m thankful your home here is temporary, but your home in heaven has temperate conditions ? blessings!

  3. A beautifully written blog. Sending many prayers to you as you keep the faith and remind yourself daily of your purpose in being there and having thr Lord pout down his blessings on your faithfulness.

    Ps if you find a good source for from scratch cooking let me know, Lord willing and finacial support raising we’ll be on the field next year.

    1. Yes, I’m sure I’ll blog some of my baking adventures 🙂 I have a Betty Crocker cook book and I’ll use Pinterest too. But waiting to get more settled before I dig in!

      Where are you headed? Prayers for your support to come in and safe travels!

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