A New Perspective on Home

2 09 2009

Fortresses without fences and walls

A few days ago I got an email from someone in Africa who had been reading my blog.  He asked why I have been so silent since I had gotten home.  It was a good question.

There are reasons.  I took time to reconnect with family, including my wife.  A few weeks before our 33rd wedding anniversary we took a weekend in North Dakota.  Why North Dakota?  A couple of years ago when we had gone to the northwestern states of Washington and Oregon, I had accomplished a goal of visiting all 48 contiguous United States.  After that my wife, Dawn, realized that she had been with me to most of them, but that she was missing North Dakota.  It was not a high priority, but we finally filled that gap.

The next weekend I was honored to do the marriage ceremony of a former student on Saturday.  The next day we took a one day trip to Kansas City for our granddaughter Cady’s first birthday party.  Eleven hours of driving for five hours of family time, but well worth it, especially since our youngest daughter, Shanna, was also there from Chicago.

Cady Birthday party outside

Cady Birthday party outside

Cady with Shanna

Cady with Shanna

Cady with Grandmas.  Dawn on the left

Cady with Grandmas. Dawn on the left

The next day we jumped into faculty meetings to prepare for teaching the upcoming semester.  I returned to preaching at Living Water Community Church.  Then we had the Week of Welcome for new and returning students, classes starting, our anniversary on Friday, August 28, and preaching again on Sunday.  I have fully jumped back into the pace of American life.

Starting classes

Starting classes

Freshman Orientation Group (Core 100) around my 1967 Mustang

Freshman Orientation Group (Core 100) around my 1967 Mustang

Yet things are different after the Zambia experience.  I have taken a few walks around my small community and tried to look at it with the same eyes I used to look at Ndola.  What often struck me in Ndola was the difference between the wealthier areas and the poorer ones.  The wealthier areas were walled in and often felt lifeless.  In the poorer areas I saw the poverty and need, but I also saw community and heard the joyful life of children.  I am glad that my community does not have all the walls and fences.  I am thankful to live in a peaceful, safe place where there is not a great deal of fear.  Yet the houses still feel like fortresses, just without the walls and fences.  We still hole up in our boxes.  Although a few people are out walking, mostly we still isolate ourselves from each other in our even smaller moving boxes.  I miss walking with Zambians.

Sioux Center from South

Sioux Center from South

Sioux Center stone fortress

Sioux Center stone fortress

Red Fortress

Red Fortress

My house (fortress?)

My house (fortress?)

Sioux Center new lake and beach (New golf course)

Sioux Center new lake and beach (New golf course)

Although I am a city boy and have had some issues adjusting to small town life in a farming area, I am learning to appreciate the beauty of farming.  This has been an incredible growing season.  There has been plenty of rain.  Although the crop is a little behind schedule, I am told, it looks wonderfully prosperous.  I have heard that the corn is up to thirteen feet tall in some places.  I am not sure soy bean plants are supposed to be three to four feet tall.  It is wondrous to look over the verdant fields of green covering the gently rolling hills.  Nothing in Zambia looked like this.  I am not sure if many places in the world are this fertile.  I hope we can share this crop with the world.

soy and corn fields

soy and corn fields

soy field

soy field

I hope to now change my direction and purpose.  Over the summer I was a reporter and commentator on Zambia to mostly Americans, with a few Zambians listening in.  Now maybe I can share Sioux Center, Iowa with Zambians and a few others listening in.  the goal is the same, to share the adventure in a way that looks for God in the variety of his world and seeks to serve to be an ambassador of his Good News.

About these ads

Actions

Information

2 responses

22 10 2009
Rod DeBoer

Tom,

I hope you will be able to continue to see with new eyes that reflect what you experienced in Zambia. I must admit the North American culture is quick to suck us back in, so do your best to keep those eyes sharp! Look for God in new ways that before were just common and ordinary. But keep looking for ways to bring God’s Kingdom here on earth, in whatever way you can!

Be Blessed,
Rod

25 03 2010
David

Tom,

Interesting thought. Love the comparing and contrasting, and use of photography. Looking forwarding to visiting Living Water in a few weeks.

God bless.

David

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: