Sunday, January 4, 2009

Leaving Home… The Journey Begins…

Last week was a busy week packing for our trip. We were collecting last minute items and organizing our luggage for the last few days. It’s amazing how much there was to do. We were so busy it didn’t really sink in that we were leaving our home for four months. Actually I think it was our cat, Jazz, who first noticed that something significant was happening and that we were both stressed about leaving home. As the week went on she became more anxious and a lot more clingy than normal. More than once she looked up at me and gave a whimper, as if to say, “I don’t want you to go”. I realized that her anxiety was reflecting the anxiety that I was feeling about leaving home. Amidst all the busyness, I needed our cat to tell me how I felt.

The thing that struck me the most was when I woke up yesterday morning. She was in one of her favorite spots in our bedroom window looking out. It was as if she knew that she was going to be leaving home and was saying good bye. It reminded me that I would need some time to do that before we left. We took a few minutes to walk around the neighborhood to say good-bye and to pray for the people around us. Then we took a few moments to say good-bye to our apartment. It was important to mark that time of transition and it made me thankful for the timing of the trip. We weren’t leaving home and going straight to Uganda, but were staying in Canada for a few more weeks. We’ve been warned about culture shock by several people, but I didn’t quite expect it to start already. I guess our world has started to change significantly. Home will be somewhere else for four months.

There were two reassurances yesterday which I am thankful for. The first appeared on our walk around the neighborhood. As we walked by the dam at Sturgeon Falls and watched the water, we noticed a rainbow in the mist. It was a reminder to me of God’s faithfulness and that everything would be better than alright. The second reassurance was our cat again. As we let her into Michelle’s parent’s house she immediately hid, but as the night went on she slowly ventured out and began to explore. First in the room we let her out in, then the entire upstairs. She even broke out of the enclosure that Michelle’s parents had carefully made for her and started exploring downstairs. I can only hope that I can be as brave as our cat in our new surroundings.

Today we began our orientation program with the Canadian Churches' Forum for Global Ministries at the Scarboro Missions Centre. The program lasts until January 15th. It looks like it will be very useful in getting us prepared for working in a new culture. We hope to make a few posts while we are here to let you know what we are learning.



shortwps said...

Hi Jeff and Michelle,

Greeting for a new year filled with adventure, learning and serving as you enter your mission postings. We look forward to your progress and will be surporting you in our prayers. May God's protection, grace and love surround you in your ministeries.

Wayne and Sdheila

Allison said...

Hi there Jeff and Michelle,
I hope you made it over well and didn't forget any more big meetings with people ;) Ah well... we had a good good-bye party without you :) It made it feel all that much more real that you were leaving... In any case, I look forward to your musings and interpretation of southern Uganda. Our prayers are with you, friends!
-Allison (and Mike, if he knew I was writing!)

Kathryn C said...

I was wondering if I could get an okay to refill Meloxicam 250ml bottle for....just kidding! Greeting from the north! I hope all is well, wherever you are. I'm sure by now your anxiety has toned down a notch! Well, take a deep breath, smile and take it all in. This is a trip of a lifetime and you know that a certain you-know-who is quite jealous! Take pictures, enjoy the sun, the warmth and yourselves. Keep us posted with news as often as you can. I will be checking in on you two from time to time.
Take care of eachother

Kathryn C