Thursday, June 9, 2016

Confessions of a Missionary...

Confession: My greatest fears of living in the USA. 

Before even getting started, allow me to make 2 disclaimers. 
#1:  I love my country. But it is not my only home.  Actually, it doesn't even feel like home to me, nor my children.  Our home is here, in Zambia.  So when you say "Welcome HOME" or "Aren't you glad to be back on US soil?"  It feels strange and disconnecting. Because for a while, the answer is going to be "No." 
 #2: I know that fear is not a place believers want to live... but it is something we experience.  So, I totally get that perfect love casts out fear... and I won't be living with these things forever. But right now, these are thing real life things swirling in m mind. 

So with that disclaimer made, Let's get started. 

Fear Confession #1:

People won't understand us and won't want to talk about our experiences in Zambia because it makes them feel uncomfortable.

Maybe talking about orphans, or other peoples struggles or even victories makes people feel guilty.  

Fear Confession #2:

People won't be accepting of our family, the way it is. 

We are messy.  Everyone is if they are honest. But we are REAL.  

Fear Confession #3:

The Wardrobe Effect: Once you walk through the wardrobe, you start to wonder if Narnia is even real.  I'm scared this life I've lived for 5 years will start to feel like a dream. 

Leaving you want to believe it is, but once you are around others who haven't been to Narnia, it can make you start living as if it wasn't real. 

Fear Confession #4: 

Letting go of life together. Like really LIFE TOGETHER.  African Style.  What if I only can be with others by appointment? We can call it community, but that's not LIFE. 

I dare you to pop in without being announced! It will feel oddly comforting. 

Fear Confession #5:

I'm scared of comfort because it feels good. What if I become self absorbed? 

In reality I know it won't happen because I have lots of kids left behind who will keep me focused. 

Fear Confession #6: 

What if I don't want my kids to be "Americanized?" Will that put them as the oddballs out?

I have so much to say to Africa for it's unbelievably amazing childhoods that it has given my children.

Fear Confession #7:

I'm scared of starting to TRUST in ME more than I TRUST in HIM. 

Let's be honest, Americans are prideful (that's a good thing... so are Zambians!)... and we hold OUR dreams close (again, a good thing), and sometimes we think we are actually the ones in CONTROL (here's the faulty thinking).  I've known better the last 5 years, but I feel this strange magnetic pull to switch my dependency from fully on HIM to fully on ME.  

Fear Confession #8:

I'm scared of all the things that have changed that I'm totally unaware of. 

I mean, I must confess, on my last furlough I didn't know how to use the cards with the chip... OH, insert... not swipe. 

Fear Confession #9:

I won't be needed outside the walls of my own home. 

I remember KG saying 2 furloughs ago as we were walking, "no one needs us here, where are the poor people?" And it's true... you have to go searching. They are segregated in THAT part of town... or let's not even talk about the poor... how about your neighbor?  Can I need my neighbor?  Like for real... if you need a cup of sugar... come on over and I'll probably give you some tea too.

Fear Confession #10: 

Will the hustle and bustle take over the politeness and warmness of relationship?

I completely believe now that God has created us to be in relationship with one another.  Deeply. Sincerely. Not just closed off into the walls of our own family and our own schedule. Greeting someone here can take 5 minutes! But it's genuine.  It's refreshing. People have time for people here. And they will almost ALWAYS drop what they are doing if someone else needs help.  I love that.  We've fallen into that pattern.  Lord, please help us to demonstrate that in a culture so overtaken by schedules, demands, and self consumption. 

And last but certainly not least ... Fear Confession #11:

Do I seriously have to vote in November?

Come now, enjoy my comic relief.  

While I know that some of these fears are just that... fears.. some of them come from cultural differences.  I also know that not everyone is the same, and I believe God is going to address each one of these the same way he addressed each one of mine coming here.  That's the cool part.  I have some experience with this under my belt and He's still the same God... only now, I see Him way more powerful than before. However, I felt it important to post so that even I could remember what I felt at this time... and once again see God's faithful hand as he deals with each one in the future. 



  1. Mitzi,
    You don't know me but I've been reading your blog since before you left for Zambia, I think. My heart breaks for you as you prepare to leave there. I hope that your family finds friends who understand your hearts being in two places. If I were around I would love to hear all the stories about your life and loved ones in Zambia. And I wouldn't ask you if you were happy to be home.

  2. Mitzi,
    How I echo the above comment. My sister is Hope Bucher, and I was reading this post I was thinking, "Hope is so blessed to be friends with Mitzi!" I want to be your friend and hear all about your experiences! I will be praying for you!

  3. I can so relate to everything you have written here, and although our time hasn't yet come, and I'm not sure when or even if it will, I have the same fears about returning to Australia. May God make your transition as pain free as possible. Maybe you should write a book about your life here when you return.

  4. Hey Mitzi, Zambia sounds a lot like Northwest Nebraska! ;) Seriously though, if you need a break from mainstream America, please come relax in the country where I don't have a card with a chip in it, neighbors borrow sugar and eggs ALL the time AND drop in unannounced, and we would love to see your WHOLE family - although we might have to pitch the 8 man tent in the front yard. ;) I am praying for you in this transition and trusting God for you - that He has even more awesome experiences and uses for you in the future!

  5. Even though my heart feels like it is ripping as I read, and my hair stylist ask why I have tears running down my face... I am praying. I am crying with you. I am fearing with you. And I just have to remind you of how you influence my life day and how you gave me an opportunity May 23, 2015 to walk the steps you walk daily in Zambia. God knows the plan!