Life as a clay jar

As I type we have been in Congo for nearly 7 weeks and been living in Ouesso for 4 of those weeks. We have just got wifi here so I thought I’d take the opportunity to write another blog to let you all know how we’re getting on.

We have been really blessed with a safe and comfortable compound to live in along with the Samoutous and the rest of the team, while the new Eye Hospital is being built. Doug has been busy trying to get our satellite internet working and other odd jobs like installing the washing machine as we get all set up here.

In a couple of weeks teams will start to arrive to get the construction started and help with other parts of the project. So we are part of the first pioneering team, making the compound home and figuring out how things work in our new town.

When people ask me how we’re settling in, it’s hard to answer! To be honest a lot of the time it has felt like wading through treacle. Think you ever feel like you don’t know what you’re doing? Imagine turning up somewhere where you don’t speak the language, don’t understand the culture, and have no idea how the society works. Plus you are going to start home schooling your kids for the first time!

Even going to the shops for a simple thing can be a challenge – the currency here is about 1000 francs to 1GB pound and my French tends to fall apart when numbers like 15600 are flying about! I’m longing for a self service till right now! We have fantastic people to help us who are very patient as we stumble along.

The kids seem to be mainly taking it in their stride. They have tried new food including porcupine, antelope and gazelle, learnt a few more words in French, and are surviving being home schooled (as far as I can tell!).

I have found this last six weeks more of a challenge personally than I think I expected. Being out of your comfort zone in every way really reveals how much of your self esteem is built on what you do and achieve every day. I have been so desperate at times just to return to my own familiar routine! I have been drawn again and again to the verse in the Bible about being treasure in jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7). I can’t see why God wants me to be here, what help I can be when I feel helpless, but I can be a jar carrying the treasure that is Him.