One Week in Jbay
I’ve been in my new home, Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa, for a week now. And I have to say that moving this time around was easier in some respects, and more difficult in others. Here’s how: Easier:
I knew the languages and had some knowledge of the cultural world I was moving to. It’s different from the resort town of Plettenberg Bay, but similar as well.
I had met the team I was going to work with before I moved there. So I felt like I did know some people already.
I had a place to live. It’s not an ideal place and I’m actually going to be moving into a more permanent place by the first of February. But I arrived in J-bay and spent my first night in a flat of my own. In Plett, if you’ll remember, I actually spent several weeks in a stranger’s flat while my place was being prepared.
I was in a similar culture that I was in last year, but far from my friends in Plett. It still is hard for me to adjust to being in South Africa and not running into the people I know and love. I still speak to them via WhatsApp and social media. But I don’t get to see them. That’s been harder than I expected.
I had to hit the ground running. This team has been forming and working together for several months. I’m the new girl on the block, so to speak. I’m having to play catch-up in a big way. They all know each other and know how everyone connects and who does what for the Merryfield team. I barely know what I bring to the team, much less what everyone else does. But I’m learning and I’m loving the connections God is putting in my life to teach me what I need to know to do His work!
I’m starting over with regards to church and friends and social life. I’m not very good at this aspect of life in general. But to start all over again after just a year and a half in Plett is hard! In some respects I’m putting myself out there more than I did the first time around, which helps. But I think that’s because I know how much I need a life outside of ministry. So I, in a way, am also putting more pressure on myself to make friends and go and do, instead of just taking it little by little and letting God answer those heart requests like I should.
I’ve been surprised to find that I’ve struggled with homesickness a bit more than I thought I would. It’s not as emotional as when I first moved to South Africa. But I’m still surprised at how many times a day I miss my friends and family back in the US. I know this will get easier as I get more involved here in J-bay. But it’s something that’s been different than I thought.
So, in short, that’s pretty much all I have going on. Starting over is hard! But I KNOW God is teaching me and growing me in this new chapter. I’m excited to see what this year holds and I am so, so eager to see what He has in store for me. I can’t help but feel like I’m right on the cliff about to see God do something amazing! Thank you for coming along with me on this journey!