For me, it is definitely about relationships. So, the Lord has really allowed me to have moments to say goodbye in ways that are real and tangible to my heart. I am so grateful. Here are just a few snaps to reflect some of our goodbyes and some of our heartfelt relationships.
The top picture is of John trying to tease the camel for the food he had. (Yes, I do believe John would have won if the camel hadn't booted him out of the space). We had the joy of having three girls over that we just love. The Payne's (they have been in our blog a few times) have been such an answered prayer to our family and their children have been so much fun to have stay with us. We took them to our local zoo, the next photo is of all of the children together by the gorilla cage.
The hiking rocks that are on our property are also a favorite, so we packed a lunch one day and had another family join us and we hiked up to the top and enjoyed a lunch, but mostly enjoyed friendships and conversation and landscape of the village. Unbeatable!
On our way home, I wanted to say goodbye to my good friend, Sasa. She runs the widow's ministry that we take our groups to called Gidan Bege. But, to my surprise, when we got there, she had all the ladies singing an african song communicating thanks. They were clapping and welcoming me into their shop one last time. They had also made me a skirt (note the yellow skirt in the photo) and a purse. To say that I was touched and speechless was an understatement. The last photo is me in the midst of all the african prints and colors that I will miss when I return to the monochromatic USA.
Here is the thing. I realize that most people aren't interested in my last days in Jos, Nigeria. BUT, it is part of my process. I recall the first days learning about the christian/muslim differences and now I don't process that anymore. My end days (which by the way is less than a week) are not of the intrigues of a new and foreign land, but they are of the deep felt gaps that might be evident if not closed well and sincerely. They are of people who have changed me and I want to say thanks. I will be forever different because of them. This land is no longer foreign and it is no longer full of intrigue. It is a home that I am having to say goodbye to and will forever miss. I appreciate all of you giving me the space to process. I will leave Jos and I will leave with no regrets, the Lord willing anyway :).