Saturday, June 16, 2007

Father's Day in Tanzania

My Dad is on a plane at this very moment winging over continents and oceans. My brother, Alex, waits for that plane to touchdown on Tanzanian soil.

Alex has been serving in the Peace Corps since September 2005. He works at a college at the base of Mount Kilamanjaro. His main assignment has been to set up and maintain a computer lab for the college.

Alex is a wonderful writer able to convey the beauty and frustration of living and working among the Tanzanians. He has written about the joys of transportation, about having his camera stolen, about a stay in the hospital. He recorded a story of a student who managed to fill the power source to three or four computers with water and in Alex's words, "wash the life out of them." His most heartbreaking story took place when he was a passenger on a bus. The bus knocked over a charcoal stove and a pan of hot oil onto a child. The next time I am tempted to get frustrated with an emergency room here, I will remember that in Tanzania if you are involved in an accident you must carry your child with third-degree burns to the police station before you are allowed to carry your child to the hospital.

Alex must sometimes long for the comfort and familiarity of home. I'll bet there are days when he feels forgotten. He does not come out and say this but there is a recurring sentence in his recent posts. A countdown of sorts. "My dad is coming here towards the end of June...My dad is coming here in four days...My dad is coming."

I think about Alex on foreign soil trying to make sense of experiences that are sometimes senseless. I know this time in Africa is molding his character but I also know that occasionally he must just want to come home. I am the same way. I find myself wanting more than what this life has to offer. I look at the cruel and senseless things of this world and somehow feel homesick for a better place, a place I have never been. I love the people I love with all my heart and they love me but it is not a perfect love and it is not enough.

Then I am reminded, God has set eternity in my heart. I live with a sense of expectation because I was not made to be content with the here and now. This weary earth is not my home. In my Father's house there are many mansions. Among those mansions...a place specially designed with me in mind. I may be buried beneath the piles of laundry and fussing kids and chaos but I am not forgotten. One day, My Dad is coming to take me home.

Happy Father's Day.


The Gatekeeper said...

I was a little bummed this evening. Then I came across your post here and now I just feel peaceful. Ah, one day my Dad is coming to take me home. What a glorious day. Thanks for reminding me, I couldn't see over the pile of laundry and stuff.

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Isn't it comforting to know that our Abba Daddy is preparing a place designed just for you and me! I can't wait to see Him.

I'll start praying for your brothers safety and that God will send a friend that will encourage him while he's there.

Love you girl!

Refresh My Soul Blog said...

I long for that day as well when my heavenly Father comes for me. My girls father is in Ukraine today so it is strange being without him on this day. Thanks for the encouragement. I will remind the girls that we can still celebrate Father's day with HIM! Praise God.

Love you!

Clemntine said...

Lovely, lovely post. I long for the day when my Abba will come for me and take me to my real home. Ever since my Dad went on ahead, I've longed a little harder...

Kathy said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. After visiting yours, I can tell you I'll be checking in often. We have many common interests. I enjoyed your story about your day at the pool. Children are such a blessing and the time flies so fast. Enjoy!