Saturday, December 13, 2008

I am in Africa...

So the other day, I am driving down the road trying to tune something in the radio. As I scanned the stations I was looking for something familar. Many times I come across a old doo wop song from the 50's they are playing, or Phil Collins or any American song comes on and you are just asking your self "where do I live that they are playing that song all the way over here?" I guess I never imagined I would be here listening to anything familar. One day i was driving and on came "Lion King music you know the Circle of Life song" So I just felt, wow! how many times have I heard that music and imagined Africa. Now I am in Africa, listenting to it.
Anyways- as I was searching for something familar. I came to a fun Malawian station that made me remember that I am in Africa. I sometimes crave for familarity that I want Africa to be like home (America) But if Africa was America then it would not be Africa. Oh but my story continued as I had to go to 3 stores to find an ingredient for a dinner I was making. This is me thinking "Why do I have to go to 3 stores to accomplish something simple. If I was in America (oh America) I would only have go to one store" But then I reminded myself I would not be in Africa! Oh man I go through such journeys of life here - don't I?

I think one thing that we (at least me) can't do is get away from is our culture, Our culture is American over here in Africa. Maybe even white American. But American through and through. The way we live life is American and what our culture exposed to us since we are born is American. We will never be African. We will try and live like Africans, eat like Africans, talk like Africans and live over here forever we will still never be Africans, But as the years go on it is easier to live like Africans, easier to eat like Africans, and easier even talk like Africans. So one day we can become American -Africans but I understand we will never be anything but American. But the journey is so much deeper than American or African - The culture that transends all this is my relationship with Christ. So I think I need to be calling my self to be politically correct, "Christian Euro-American African" as it get easier to live, eat and talk African. (Malawian really)

Deep! I know but as I teach my class of senior women, I am learning about so many things that disturb me about cultural traditions here, the way children are abused, how women are treated because of culture, how men treat families and how the women do things to themselves because culturally that is what is expected of them. Some christian women do things that don't line up with Christ. Like sleeping with Pastors because they will forgiven of sins if they do.
Don't get me wrong, I believe American culture has many major problems too. It is just overwhelming when you are exposed to a whole new reality check of a new culture and there is not much you can do because you don't belong to that culture. Remember I will never be African. But as I prayed for days for insight on this story that I carried - I felt so burdened - how do I change culture that is not Christ like. But I so appreciated the Lord saying to me. Duh! you can't only I can! Oh thanks for that reminder! Dumb me thinking I could do it again by myself. There I go again, trying to change the world by myself. The verse I felt that He gave me to share with these women was this -

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

and 2 Peter 2:11
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

Ahh! I am free to be any culture I want be on this earth but as a daughter of Christ - I am and will always be first a christian then my earthly culture will come....

"Christian- English-Swedish and all different types of european cultures-American-girl who is living in Africa"
"sold out and serving Jesus daily- Euro- American- African"
"a really yucky person who sees how much Christ has transformed and continues to transform me from the inside out Euro- American living in Africa who sometimes misses living in America"

Ok so that is enough of my blahhing to you all! Serving Him on this planet called earth- amy louise


Anonymous said...

Yes weez...we are pilgrims on a journey and NO place will be really home until we live with Jesus. I loved what you wrote and the insight and time you took to develop what you were hearing from the Lord. I am sooo proud to be your Mama

Anonymous said...

Weez: Great insights and well stated. We miss being able to interact with your thoughts, which we all struggle with, but as you stated we are changing from the inside out. From dead to life to wholeness to completeness. Thank you Jesus!!! Love hearing from you and hope to talk soon. Today is the begining of our cold weather, to -12 degrees over the next few days with the high only +6 or 12 degrees. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
We love you and are grateful that you are there! Bless you my dear, dad

Sarah said...

Amy...thank so much for being so transparent. As much as I know you are trying to immerse yourself in the culture you have to have some of these almost identity crisis moments....not quite that severe but I get what you are saying. God is (as He promises) continuing to mold you and shape you and show HE is faithful along the way. Praise HIS name!! LOVE SARAH

amied said...

Hey Amy...
I enjoyed this blog so much...great lessons! We are moving to Prague, indefinately in about 6 or so weeks. Thanks for your insights- I could learn so much from you!

-Amie D.