"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, October 22, 2009

whys/why nots

We feel we are needing/wanting/able to share a few of the whys and why nots as to our departure. As is human nature and curiosity, people would like more info and many do deserve it. There are many who would like some answers but are afraid or unsure if they should ask, so they ask others and half-truths are passed as fact.

We seek to do our best NOT to defend ourselves. That is hard. We want justice and the truth to be told. But the Lord continues to tell us, "Be quiet. I was silent in front of my accusers, my Father defended me, and He will defend you." Easier said than done when one day is as a thousand to Him!

-we did not leave because we couldn't adapt to the culture. Regular readers know the opposite to be true. We were able to integrate into the culture and fit in well. We have a wonderful appreciation letter from a village elder and one of the headmen saying how accepted our family was. We had others too, but they were stolen from us on the last day. :-(
-we are not leaving due to the stress and burnout we were in. While a factor in how things played out, those were not the actual causes.
-we did not leave because we WANTED to-but we knew it was something we HAD to do.

The SIMPLE explanation is this:
-having lived, breathed, and worked the project for almost a year, we realized that our mission philosophies and visions for the project (agriculutrally, academically, and otherwise) were no longer compatible with the agency's. We let the leadership know this at different times and in different ways throughout the year. WE were seeking some way to stay and work at the project despite this, but could come to no working agreement on how this could happen. So, since this was the agency's project and not ours, we were obviously the ones who need to leave.

That's the simple explanation. Problem is, life isn't simple. That explantion doesn't reveal the whos, the whys and the hows of how things played out to get to the point of leaving. We have written out quite a bit about the feelings, the emotions, the hurts that we went through. Just doing that takes a lot of time and energy and emotion for us right now. How much of it will we post? We don't know yet. This has always been a personal blog about our processing and our faith journey, so we'd like to share much of it. But we don't want it to appear or come across as saying anything it isn't. We all know emails and letters and postings can be intrepted in many different ways. A simple sentence like, "no, we really don't need any more" can be heard in a person's head as sarcastic and critical, or just as a fact. We've had too many instances where someone has read WAY MORE into a statement than it was written in. So we are still working on what we will say or not. It is vital for our own healing that we discuss and process things though.

Now, what does it mean that our philosphies/visions were no longer compatible? Well, without discussing everything just yet (please email us if you would like more particulars), it means that the way some things were being done we didn't see as culturally relevant, or maybe that it would not work where we were (due to elevation, climate, etc)... there were things related to the project, things related to the ministry as a whole, just things that we didn't feel we could keep silent and be a part of. Just some things we could not go along with.

Both we and our agency went into this relationship pretty blind. We'd never been on the mission field; they'd never sent. We didn't know the questions to ask and neither did they. We went on the field without a job description. We were the guinea pigs-the first ones. And we all know what happens to the guinea pigs...

We don't regret going to Zambia in the least. We did not miss what God called us to do; we did what we were called to do. It just didn't look or end the way we thought it would. But how can we say when everything is peaches and cream that God is great and God is soverign--but then when our vision doesn't match His, He's not? Or can we even say "man-we really screwed up God's plan!" Like He doesn't know what's going on? We are, and were, right where God wanted us-dependent on Him, seeking Him, having to trust Him.

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