Hey, You're Going The Wrong Way!

What are you doing here?  Why did you move here now?  Don't you know how many white people are leaving here?  You've gone the wrong direction.

I can't tell you how many times I heard such sentiments when we left Kenya and moved to live in South Africa.  It was September of 1992.  Tom had begun working for the church, heading up the administrative side of things for our group of churches in Sub-Saharan Africa.  It made the most sense to live in South Africa.  The country's infrastructure was the most advanced in Africa at the time.  Banking was easier between South Africa and the United States.  Travel was easier between South Africa and West African countries and also between South Africa and East African countries.  Travel between West and East Africa was much more challenging, as was telephone communication at the time.  Much has changed today, but I'm talking about how things were 21 years ago!

So we moved south.  It was an exciting time to move to South Africa!  Mandela had been released from prison.  We knew that many things would be changing.  We knew there was some unrest.  We knew there would be uncertainties.  We were moving at a pivotal point in the history of the country.  All that meant to us was that we were definitely moving in the right direction.  It is true that some things about the move were scary.  Adventure is fraught with scary things sometimes.  And if my life in Africa was anything, it was an adventure. 

This week has brought a slew of memories back from our time in South Africa.  It was such a blessing to live there during the transitional years after apartheid was over.  We lived during a miraculous time of peace, when the world had no idea what would happen with the first totally inclusive election in South Africa.  The day Nelson Mandela was elected president was a day I will never forget.  I wish you could have seen the long, peaceful, happy lines of people waiting patiently to vote for the first time in their lives. 

There is a lot I could say about our move and about all the different things we experienced, but today I only want to say one thing.  Don't listen to the nay sayers in your life.  Trust God and trust your instincts. Some people thought we were making a huge mistake moving our family there during that time.  No way.  We were moving in the right direction!  It was the right move. And it was the right time.   
Lori ZieglerComment