I had lots of dreams of what I was going to do with “my” life…none of them involved moving to Africa. Not one. They pretty much revolved around small town country life surrounded by lots of beautiful farm scenery and a job working with livestock and agriculture students. I wanted to spend my life educating others about agriculture and soaking in the slow, simple country life that so many places in the rural South have to offer. Seems the Father had other plans though and here I am in Africa.
About a month ago, it hit me. I am living my dream. I am doing all the things I ever wanted to do….only difference is that I am doing them in Africa. Here I get to live in a small town – I think 4,000 people equates a small town – on the outskirts of the countryside, literally a mile in any direction to the middle of nothingness. I live in one of the most beautiful rural scenes that God has ever created with mountains in the background, waterfalls right up the road, and miles and miles of corn, wheat, sorghum, and barley growing in every direction. Making home cooked meals completely from scratch isn’t reserved for Sunday lunch, it is a necessity and I get to do it most every day. I spend my days working with people who farm for a living – attempting to help them what little bit I can. I help manage a goat project (goats were not part of the plan) and I get to work with children who have lost one or both parents, many to AIDS/HIV and help send them to school.
Just yesterday, I got to assist with a goat cesarean section and I am always getting to learn new things about the medical aspect of livestock care from the veterinarian who works here. I constantly get to learn new things about agriculture, and by “new” I mean the way agriculture was done in America 200 years ago…but I love it! The different type of things grown here such as bananas, avocados, mango, and coffee offer a whole new perspective on farming. This morning, I looked around at the countryside as I ran down a dirt road that led to nowhere important and could not believe that this is the place I call home for now and this is the landscape I get to run through as my heart desires.
As much as I love living here and as much as it fits all of the things I ever wanted to do, that still isn’t the reason I came. Even if nothing I did here was anything I wanted to do, it would still be where the Father called me to be…and that would be enough. I am so grateful that I can look around and love the small everyday things of the life I live and think to myself that I am truly “living the dream” but far more importantly is the fact that He led me here. This wasn’t my original dream, but it was what He had for me. And when I think back to those days when I was pursuing my own hopes and wishes and desires, I know now that His plan was far better than my own.