I Just Blacked Out


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Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Likasi
March 17th 2010
Published: March 17th 2010
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Something that hit me pretty hard recently:

Last Sunday afternoon I was doing what I do most Sunday afternoons ... relaxing ... reading ... listening to music ... trying to prepare for the week ahead. I decided that my emails needed checking and started the decent to the office.

It’s a well known fact here that if my computer is plugged into one of the outlets in the office all of our power cuts ... I stay away from that outlet ... usually.

Sunday I had different plans ... like I said in my last entry that injection must have taken some of my memory ... because I went right ahead and plugged my computer into the “forbidden outlet”. Surprise surprise ... power cut ... however this time it was a bit more serious ... we couldn’t get it to come back on ... for 3 days.

During those 3 days we cooked everything over hot charcoal and had to do everything by candle light once the sun went down ... phones also die without power ... aaaand it turns out you need power to recharge them ... so very soon we had lost contact with the outside world ... I thought it was exciting ... Ken and Erick weren’t all that stoked.

Anyway ... the story is just the ridiculous introduction to the point I wanted to make.

When the power did come back on there was great celebration within the house and we immediately boiled water using the electric kettle and made some coffee. As Ken and I were high fiving and drinking hot coffee I said to him, “Ken man ... don’t forget this feeling!”

A few days passed ... and the feelings of luxury surrounding electricity in the house passed with them.

Lynn and James arrived on Monday from Zambia to provide encouragement and to see our progress here in the DRG ... there are more stories to be shared about their arrival ... later ... but anyway ... last night we were gathered around the dining room table and Lynn read a letter from George talking about his travels in Australia. He ended the letter with this:

“Sitting here tonight typing these stories made me think. Are we getting used to it? Are we just doing a job now? I sometimes fear for us as a family. I look, I listen and I fear... What are we doing? What takes our time? When last did we do something for an individual? What is the name of the child you met this month? We are so privileged to do this work and yet it could just become a daily job. When last did we weep for the children?”



As we sat in silent prayer afterwards I started to think back to the black out and what I had said to Ken the day power came back ... “don’t forget this feeling!”

It’s so important! We can’t let ourselves become numb to our everyday routines ... we need to always remember the possibility of a “black out”.

I apply the “black out” idea to my return home and it scares me...

I don’t want to forget the “black out” that I will have come from ... I don’t want the feelings that surround the luxury of North American living to wear off ... I don’t want to forget “the feeling”.

I’m not sure if this makes sense to you but it’s burning inside me right now and I felt like telling as many people as possible ... so there it is ... my latest “black out”.

Will

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18th March 2010

deeply moved
Dear Will: We were so deeply moved when we finished reading this. You reached into our very souls and we sat quietly for a few moments before we wereable to share some thoughts about what you had shared. May you continue having the sensitivity to your mission in the Congo that you feel today.Don't ever forget the "feeling"We hope we can have some good discussion times when you get home. Lovingly, Grandma and Grandpa
18th March 2010

Tears don't help.
Hi will, i am a colleague of your parents. they have been sharing your experiences with me. What a fabulous opportunity you are living. I did simialr work in Costa Rica and some in Haiti. From my limited experience I found that tears do not motivate us to act. The poor don't want us to cry for them, they want us to walk along side of them and share their experience. The return home is where the dilemma lays. Our culture is so strong that it is next to impossible to live the life you have come to know and love. The biggest challenge is to find ways to change the way we live here so as to positively affect the misery in our world. The poor have much to offer us in how to live an authentic life but those living in misery need our help. My 2 cents!! Judy
19th March 2010

silence
Will: good reflections. Check out I Kings 19:10-14. God was found not in the hurricane, earthquake or fire, but in three Hebrew words, translated: noise- silent- tiny (a whisper). North americans often have trouble hearing, likely need more blackouts. to learn His perspective, Floyd
19th March 2010

Wow. George is very right and thank you for passing on the warning. It is extremely easy to become numb and think to "weep for the children" but never actually weep. And it is also very easy to become used to easy living and forget to be thankful for the privilege we have been given. I feel inspired to go out and do. Thanks Will! ~Kelly

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