James, Joel & Anna are still traversing the globe emotionally and socially. Physically we have lived in the same United States for over a year now, but only settled for six months and still missing what feels like home: Africa. Some days the red dirt and smiling friends are far from their minds, but other days they wake up and want to sing in Swahili and plan a trip. Anna misses airports. What a strange thing to miss. Their whole lives have included travel, so there is a strange thing missing now.
We had the privilege to get to know another family just as they were heading out. Opposite direction. It was wonderful to be able to share a love of Africa and her gorgeous people with someone who just understood. As part of a writing assignment James decided to give advice to his new friend soon leaving for the motherland. I found some of his advice profound:
From One African MK to Another
by James, the African
Because I am an African missionary kid myself, I'd like to provide you a bit of advice before your upcoming move.
Play in the dirt. Mold houses, monsters, ornaments, figurines, etc. out of the red African clay. You can have a lot more fun in the dirt.
Play with every kind of bug! Interestingly, they make fun pets, and if you use them right, toys. My brother liked to trap two moths and pretend they would 'fight' with each other. He called it "Moth Wars". It's hilarious.
Learn the language better than I did and have fun playing with African kids, because they know all the funnest games and things to do there. In choosing your friends, money, skin color or houses totally don't matter.
The trees there are awesome to climb.
Watch out for rabid dogs. They can kill you with one bite.
Eat piles of mangoes for me!
I chose a verse for you that helped my family when we first moved to Congo:
"The Lord replied, 'I will personally go with you Moses and I will give you rest - everything will be fine for you.'"
Exodus 33:14 NLT
I hope you take my advice and love being a missionary kid in Africa.