Some folks have been asking me, “How are you faring on that side? What are you going through? Do you want to come back?” These and many other questions have been ringing in my head for the past three and a half months now.
The question I ask them is, “Do you really wanna know?” I will be honest with you, this journey has been good, bad, and ugly.
Let me take you back to before I arrived in Liberia. When it was confirmed that I would be going to Liberia for my mission work, I was very shocked and surprised because Liberia was never on the list of countries I hoped to go to. Immediately I begun to research the country, started to learn more about the foreign land; mathematically I was prepared to go, as this was God’s choice, not mine.
The very first day I arrived in the country was the very first day I wanted to go back to Zambia. I felt some sort of fear, fear of differences, not of death. Almost everything was different, apart from the skin color of my fellow Africans.
Immediately I begun writing my resignation letter to the Director of the program, I told myself I would finish it and send it the next morning. I was scared, lonely, and uncomfortable, and I felt let down by God.
The next morning I felt a bit better after I prayed over the whole situation. To be honest, the first two months were the worst months of my whole life on this planet. However, I could not send the letter because something told me to keep trying.
In Liberia I have been stretched in so many ways, but again I have prayed more, read more, believed more, waited more and thought even more. It has been difficult, fighting for a car to go anywhere, the language barrier, cultural differences; indeed ‘Culture Shock’ has played a big role in my time here.
It has not been easy to deny myself and accept different opinions and ways of living. God has been present, but she has brought me here to learn and to see how to appreciate others even more.
Did I ever think I would use a bike as a mode of transport in my life? No. What about cook on a gas stove or eat Garry (Pounded Cassava soup) or go to the beach or see graves being decorated? NO. I am almost four months in, and I can say that my situation has been improving. I have made a few friends, talked to many people, and some of the missionaries here have helped me settle down.
Sometimes I feel like giving up, feel like quitting, feel so frustrated that I want to punch a person in the face, feel so annoyed that I want to lock myself indoors for many days, but I always tell myself to try, try, and keep trying. There is a purpose for everything; God never forsakes his children, so I believe that my being here is not in vain. He loves me so much.
West Africa is a different world, has different values, a different culture, a different way of living, and above all, it is a foreign land. All I can do now is be patient, be prayerful and let God take the wheel.
GMF International, Class of 2015-2017
Imani House, Liberia