Saturday, July 31, 2010

66 days in...

My last blog is just a short snapshot of my worldview. Worldview can be described as the story we live by. Some of us live by many stories and flip back and forth between stories depending on what is most convenient or comfortable at the time. Unfortunately, I am among the first of those who switch stories when the going gets tough. Thankfully though, when we are honest with ourselves we can realize our own idiosyncracies and grow past our immaturities.

In this blog, I hope to give you a snapshot of my more day to day hands on experience.

So since my last blogg here is what has happened in terms of work. Me and my collegue travelled to Pemba, a city about 6 hours north of Nampula for two weeks. The mission of this trip was to make as many contacts as possible in this city as this is where a new microfinance office will open up in January, a daunting task. Basically, the task is to start a microfinance institution from the ground up. So we met with as many people as we could ranging from potential founders to the Governor of Cabo Delgado, the province. The rest of the time was made up of looking for a potential office, opening an account, and a billion other tasks. Then the next two weeks were made up of organizing a board visit and accompanying and translating for the board members. This entailed a lot of traveling, presentations, visiting beneficiaries, and making sure the monitoring visit ran smoothly.

So those are the activities of the last month or so. It may sound interesting to some of you and it may not. Whatever the case, for me, it was a huge opportunity and extremely stretching. I think a good summary of my work experience so far is that I have been meddling with responsibilities that I have no business meddling with. I am probably exagerating, but it certainly doesn't seem like it. My organization is as small as it gets thus I can't just sit back and watch. Here in mozambique there are only two of us my supervisor and me, and in Canada there are only two people. This is pretty cool cuz I get to learn a lot, but it also seems like we are short staffed all the time. Needless to say, it has been a busy month and according to the workplans I am bound to lose my mind before long.

Oops, crap! I gotta pack. I will have to finish this blog later. I am on the road again tomorrow to Nacala. Their operating system went down so my mission is to get it back up running again. See what I mean!? I have no business trying to fix a microfinance cooperative's operating system. I need Conor's techinical abilities, oh Conor please come visit, Mozambique is the most Latin American African country there is, you would love it.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

38 days in...

It seems I write with less frequency as the time goes on. Sorry about that, my friends! This is mostly the case because I wasn't sure if anyone really read this blogg. However, I was encouraged by my good friend Brian Woo to give an update. Thus here is a little update.

In terms of the last challenge I wrote about (being tired because I was searching for commonalities with my friends and co-workers) well, it seems this has grown into a different challenge. I am beginning to understand the most basic yet incredibly tranformative truth. It is the fact that we are all created by God for God. Before you tune out, just let me explain, as best I can, a little bit further. There are two parts to this statement.

First, there is the claim that we are created by God. You can choose to believe this or you can choose not to. I have chosen to believe this, because it just makes sense to me. In seeing the balanced complexity of our world, I can not choose to believe that it all just kinda happened. There is a verse in the Bible that says, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Ok, if this verse is true, then I, Jeremy, have even less excuse then the people talked about in the verse. That is, yes, it seems to make sense that God exists when I considered the physical world's incredible qualities, but beyond this, EVERY SINGLE time I have called out to God wanting to know who He is, He has answered. I have never heard an audilble voice from God, but the still quiet voice I hear in my heart saying, "Jeremy, I Love you" makes me beleive He not only exists but he cares about me.

This brings me to the second part, "we are all created for God." This is the part where it gets even more personal,but this is the part I struggle with as well. Nevertheless, dare with me, to explore further. Continuing on, there is another part in the Bible that says, "Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture." If it is true that I, Jeremy, was actually created FOR God then it follows that by ignoring God I am not fulfilling my purpose. I can personally testify what the consequence is of ignoring one's purpose. The consequence is emptiness. My dad always says, 'we have a God-sized-vacuum in our hearts'. What he means by this is that there is a part of us, a deep part, that desires nothing less then to know God.

It seems though that I, along with many in my generation, desire to fill, said God-sized-vacuum, with everything but God. Often these things are not bad in themselves, but they are not God. I will be honest here and tell you my two biggest substitutes for God. The first is accomplishment. I love making accomplishments in every area of my life: work, school, sports, everything. However, accomplishment is dwarfed in comparison with my second substitute, acceptance. I absolutely LOVE acceptance! In fact, I would dare to guess that my desire for accomplishment is probably driven by my desire for acceptance. What I mean by acceptance, is that I love it when people accept me as a friend. Who doesn't!? I would venture to guess very few, although some opt to be feared by people instead, it is safer. Others would rather be respected and highly-esteemed. Whether it is acceptance, accomplishment, fear, or respect, all of us have a deep desire that motivates just about everything we do.

I had a hunch mine was my desire for acceptance, and I believe my last blogg confirms this hunch. It is so good to know what I am substituting in place of my God. I started by saying it was a basic yet incredibly transformative truth. Well it is basic because the first part is concerned with our origin. We all have to answer this question. We all must explore the origin of humanity before we can navigate our own journey. It is a tranformative truth; because by default we choose to ignore our origins leaving us thinking that we exist for ourselves. Thus when I come to acknowledge that I, Jeremy, was created by God for God my life is transformed.

None of the above, really has anything to do with my being in Moçambique on placement. Nevertheless, through my time here I have been afforded the opportunity to be stretched. I am not alone in this, today we have all been afforded the opportunity to be stretched just a little bit. For me, it is a VERY tiny bit, I guess I am slow learner. Nonetheless, wherever you are and whatever your circumstance is consider your orgin and your purpose.

Do they have the rigor to sustain you on this journey?

Your friend, Jer.