Yesterday was one of those days where I was reminded that I still have a long way to go. A looong way.
With Alison and Doug visiting, I wanted Alison to experience a special part of my community here, and that is my HIV support group. I have been helping to lead this group since our short-term trip here in 2008. It has changed a bit, but really has most of the same members. These are incredible people, struggling each day to live with dignity and hope while being ostracized from their community and sometimes families because of their disease. It can be a heart-breaking life.
So we went today, and it's been a while I'll admit, and today I remembered why.
It was a small group of my friends that showed up for a rainy afternoon of talking. So many were missing, and usually they skip for no reason at all. If it was me, I would skip just because it's HARD to talk about our issues. It's HARD to talk about where we are hurting. It's HARD to talk about the darkness.
Another hard part is that one of my friends has gotten progressively healthier over the past few years and is very spunky and talkative. Obviously this is GREAT for her, but now she has determined that she won't speak to me because I can't speak Afrikaans. It's not that she can't understand English; she can, and most television is English. She just says I need to respect her and speak her language. HARD. I can actually understand a great deal of the language, but everyone speaks English AND Afrikaans in our community, so I have gotten lazy about pushing myself to learn. HARD. It's just hard. So I get upset when she won't speak to me, but I know she is right, I SHOULD be working harder to learn her language.
It's hard. And it's very, VERY humbling.
Just another reminder that in the world of missionary life in Ocean View, I still have a LONG way to go. Nothing wrong with that. I am ready for it all.