Tuesday, March 27, 2012

News from East Africa

If you are interested in South Sudan and East Africa, check out these recent news articles. I can't comment on the accuracy of these articles, but I ask that you continue to pray for the place I called home for two and half years.

Sudan and South Sudan in fierce oil border clashes : The most recent article on South Sudan from March 27th (today).

South Sudan’s wobbly start - Rustling with Kalashnikovs : From the Economist

Technology and development: A new business model could help people in poor countries light their homes cheaply using solar power

Economic Opportunity for Women
: Sudan is listed last on the Women's economic opportunity index

Kenya Strikes Oil for First Time : ""We will make sure that the oil in Kenya is a blessing for the people of Kenya and not a curse," Murungi (Kenya's energy minister) said, in reference to other countries whose people remain mired in poverty despite having struck oil."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Split Down The Middle

"One night I walk the beach. It's late and the waves are lapping quietly at the sand, like a cat drinking milk. It is clear and the stars are out, but this is Virginia Beach, so they must compete with the city's lights. High-rises stand silhouetted against the unnatural glow, and I walk with my head turned toward the grayness of the ocean.

This same ocean laps against the beaches of Virginia and Senegal. That seems impossible to me and makes me wonder if there is some place out there in the middle of the Atlantic where waves decide to go to the east or to the west, split down the middle as though parted with a comb. There is no such place, I tell myself, but I cannot stop picturing it. I like the idea of a place in the middle of the ocean where east-going waves split from west-going waves, and I feel if there is anywhere left in the world where I truly belong, it is at that spot."

Susan Lowerre, Under the Neem Tree

A friend in Richmond who served in Uganda with WHM years ago put together a list of quotes from books and songs about going, leaving, re-entry, now, and questions. This quote in particular stuck with me. I am thankful for friends who have walked this path ahead of me.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Thinking about living in Naples for only six months and then moving to Philadelphia for ten months and then potentially moving again can be overwhelming. Even spending the last month traveling takes its toll. Repeatedly stepping back into a communities that I loved and loved me well and then driving away again is exhausting. I hesitate to be vulnerable with new people and in a new community, especially when I still miss Mundri so deeply. That is not the person I want to be. I value relationships, so I pray for God to give me the strength to be vulnerable.

A Month of Traveling in Review:

I kicked things off with a week in Colorado Springs for debriefing and then a weekend in Boulder. I took the pictures below as the sun was setting just as Ben, Amanda, and I were getting back the car after a short hike. It was a spectacularly beautiful moment.

Two days after getting back to Florida, I packed up my mom's car and started driving up the east coast. I was able to visit friends in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, and North Carolina. It was a wonderful trip highlighted by a week in Richmond where I reconnected with my sending church, West End Presbyterian.

I wasn't great about taking pictures, especially in Philadelphia and Richmond, but here are few.

Hiking in February in NY with Linda made possible by a seriously mild winter. =)

I got to drive past my childhood home in Darien, CT and have coffee with a friend who grew up in a house just up the street.

Swans on the way to Cove Beach

I was so blessed to be able to hang out with lots of great friends up and down the east coast. I even got to spend time with several people who also love Mundri including Heidi, John, Phil, Kim, and Bethany.

Meredith was my last stop on my way back to Florida. It is hard to believe it was three years ago that we were both at CIT preparing to head overseas.