Being a missionary in an area wracked with violence for an extended period of time takes its toll. But I still find important life lessons at every turn, not only for myself, but also for the work we are doing.
It always takes me awhile to get back to normal—or should I say “the new normal.” After the riots in 2008, I was driving downstate in Jos, Nigeria, where we are missionaries. I was shocked to see construction workers back at work. I wondered when the next wave of violence would begin. They were building for the future and I was just trying to get through the day.
I bought a whole bunch of tomatoes, peppers and onions last weekend just because this is the season to buy. I planned to make sauce and stew. But as I looked at the 200-plus empty jars on my shelves, I felt the same way I did when I saw those construction workers: Filling those jars meant planning for the future—and I’ve been stuck in daily survival mode.
We did get the canning done with lots of extra help in the kitchen. I know we must continue to live fully today and continue to plan for the future.
Today we remember Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, martyr (circa 258). This message was adapted from “Thanks Be to God!: ELCA Missionary Stories” written by Sue Edison-Swift that first appeared in the November 2010 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.
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