On Good Friday, Christians remember the ultimate sacrifice: God took on flesh, suffered, and died to demonstrate the extent of His love and justice. I've heard it put it this way: does God hate sin? Yes, look at the cross. Does God love sinners? Yes, look at the cross.
Christ, whose ultimate citizenship is in Heaven, became fully man and immersed Himself in the culture of humanity. Living outside of His Father's (but not His mother's) country of origin, He most certainly possesses a special understanding of the third culture kid life. Third culture kids (TCKs) are those who spend a good portion of their formative years outside of their parents' [and their own] passport country.
We are living in an area of the country where the internet has been shut off for the past few months, due to political unrest in a nearby city. Our hospital was granted an exemption (thankfully, as it is difficult -- if not impossible -- for millennial physicians to practice medicine without evidence based online resources). However, social media remains blocked. In addition to feeling even more disconnected from friends and family, I have been frustrated at the inability to post to Instagram, which I have been using as an online journal for our TCKs to look back on some day.
Then today, I remembered that we have a blog that they may also look back on some day. So I've collected some pending Instagram posts and some never-before-seen footage of the TCK life. God has given us some very precious gifts: our neighbors, our children, our lives, and our Savior. What better day to reflect on grace upon grace than Good Friday?
|How they love (and challenge!) each other! Here, he is picking her a flower. #twomuskateers|
|Trying to catch every last drop (from the leaky gutter) at one of the first drizzles. #dryseasonwoes|
|We don't always have cattle traipse through our side yard, but when we do, we like to make sure our visitors appreciate the show. #auntieinafrica|
|Celebrating Junior Catan and the first real rain with #auntieinafrica|
|While reportedly illegal, local farmers often burn large areas of land to prepare for the next growing/grazing season.|
|Made it to the back waterfall!|
|How a"healthy white man" scares off cattle.|
|If you are looking for a wonderful way to help orphans, check out our friends at Win Our Nations!|
We had a blast visiting and celebrating Jesus with them.
|Essie, mother extraordinaire.|
|Real rain calls for a celebration with hot cocoa on the porch.|
|We even had some acorn sized hail, which if you squinted: looked a lot like snow to this New York girl. It takes a while for the water table to build up, but we are no longer on restriction -- and so thankful for the water we always took for granted.|
|Essie has grown into a delightful (seriously) two year old. What a joy to celebrate her life with our neighbors and the kids on children's ward. She is most happy when she is giving things away or otherwise helping.|
|She enjoyed her tricycle, after she realized it was the actual present (not the old potty next to it in the shed). Several little friends (M, S, H, Levi, and Lewy) came to celebrate: and many big friends, too!|
|Enjoying America's favorite past time in West Africa!|
|Someone really likes magazines. She also is quite opinionated about her hair and attire. She will dictate one, two, three or four "bows" each morning.|
|Since our Ninja broke, Josiah built me a special smoothie maker in the sandbox. Yum!|
|This image sums up so much of the TCK life: uncles, aunties, and football.|
|The view from the new outpatient floor.|
|We talked a lot about upping the ante to Chick-Fil-A when we get back to the States, but we just started dates with our kids and Josiah was thrilled to have some sibling-free time -- even in an empty conference room.|
|Always ready to help people smile.|
|Catan Junior on a rainy afternoon.|
|Building the tallest tower in the world! Short term volunteers bring so much joy to our lives.|
|Mama's little helpers.|
|Ciao bella! apron, or toga?|
|We are very excited about this initiative: we want to give one of these very special books to each family whose child dies on children's ward (often several per week), as a memorial.|
|Hoagie buns! Josiah said, "You said I could make mine however I wanted!" (It was delicious).|
|Of course, TCK life is enhanced by video calls to loved ones!|
|CHEESE! (This girl is such a ham -- she will do almost anything for a laugh).|
|Real time impromptu piano lesson with beloved Auntie Mary! (Edelweiss, aka Little Vice!)|