It is incredible how moving overseas can deeply change a person. Living in an environment so different from where we’ve grown up has caused us to question why we believe what we do about many things. Why is it so important to us to choose to attend church even though it is so inconvenient here? Why do we believe what we do about issues such as poverty, racism, corruption, giving to the needy, and suffering? As we wrestle with these and many other questions, sometimes we come out with added resolve: We go to church because we are commanded in Scripture to fellowship with other believers and to build each other up. We take our children, even though it is stressful to keep them still and quiet for so long, to teach them why church is important. Church is not all about me getting what I can out of it.
Sometimes, we find that living here is so different than what we have been used to that our way of thinking can change. For example, my husband and I are what you would call “dog people.” BIG dog people at that. We have never understood why anyone would ever want a cat. Until we moved to Congo.
The change for us began as we started discovering rats. First one, then another. Suddenly, there were five of them. Cats began moving up on our list of tolerable animals to have around. With the first rat, it was a joking, “Maybe we should get a cat…ha ha ha!” With the second rat, it was “Maybe we should look into getting a cat…someday…for outside only.” We then heard that a friend of ours in town had (in an 18-month period) 50 rats! By our fourth rat, we were actively looking for people who had kittens.
Over the course of a couple weeks, we went from having no desire to ever have a cat to having a kitten IN the house! The kids love her, and to our surprise, Owen and I found that we love her too. Amazing what can change when people move overseas!