It’s easy for me to claim my “adultness” in the U.S., but here in Burundi I feel like Benjamin Button. Sitting at the dinner table with my team, I brought up a conversation that I had had a few months prior with my family about what my roles and relationships might be like, specifically with my team leaders. The topic was how I viewed Russ and Anna and my relationship with them; I had said that I viewed them as my leaders and mentors for this trip and also as my parents in a way. My reasoning was that having never been to Burundi before, I would be, in many ways, dependent on them to help guide me through this season of life. That’s when my sister interjected, “Uh, Al, you know that you’re also an adult going with them.” Oh right. I’m an adult. Doing some math I realized that there’s not so many years between us as I thought. Funny.
Honestly, I do feel in many ways like a child again, but I know that it’s part of the process. In this season of discipleship with the Bennetts, I’m thankful to see and experience healthy relationships in their family dynamic and among my team. I know that I will be challenged and stretched in regards to my faith, my character, and also as a member of the Body of Christ. I’ve never been discipled before or had to submit myself directly to spiritual authority, and already I have been challenged in a good way. Being discipled and jumping into family life (especially after 8 years of being on my own) already feels much like a group of muscles that haven’t been used in a long, long time, but I’m glad they’re being put to work.
Truly though, I am grateful to be here and living with a family for this season. I’ve been reminded about what it means to have child-like faith and work together as the body, which are both real right now. While it’s been an adjustment, it’s been helpful knowing that my team is also making adjustments in order for everyone to thrive. I feel like I’ve been able to look at the things around me through different lenses, and it makes me aware of how much I don’t know about navigating everything. I’m really thankful though that I have a team to navigate the unknowns with, and more importantly, Jesus, who is my ultimate Shepherd. I used to take pride in going at things alone and relying on my strength and skills, but I’m learning a whole new set of skills.
So...cheers to interdependence!
God bless you!