When Dorothy fell into Oz from the sky, she must have been totally overwhelmed. Her world was black and white and Oz was techno-colored. The Munchkins must have been startling and a woman floated out of a bubble and proclaimed that she was a “good witch.” I would love to say that I am as accepting and versatile as Dorothy, but come on, seriously Dorothy?!! Where is your freak-out moment?
As missionaries, strangers in a strange land, I have a new perspective on this classic story. I think it should have gone something like this…
Dorothy lands, killing an inhabitant in her new world. She cries hysterically, runs screaming from the Munchkins, and passes out when a woman-carrying bubble appears. After that she attributes the entire experience to a hallucination or some really bad take-out food and goes to therapy for the next 15 years.
Being new in a country where SO MANY THINGS are new and different is exhausting. It is also wonderful…don’t get me wrong. The reason I am reflecting on this, yet again, is that we have had the blessing and privilege to be on vacation in the lovely country of South Africa. In so many ways it feels like home. They speak English as one of their national languages, they have working water and electricity all of the time, and they follow set rules of the road. We soaked in the conveniences: Ubers, fast-food and malls.
It has been a wonderful, breath-of-fresh-air vacation. I feel recharged and yet hesitant knowing that we are going back to our “strange land.” The good news is that God has equipped us and this time as we set foot on the soil of the Democratic Republic of Congo, we will be greeted by a friend. He is picking us up in our own vehicle, Tina, and we even speak some French. Thank You, God for walking with us. You go before us, and we know You are at our backs, sometimes pushing us through the door.
The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you. He will be with you, He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.