Friday, June 3, 2011

New beginnings

We leave for South Africa tomorrow!! Right now we're just chilling out watching Stargate Atlantis, eating TimTams and doing last minute paperwork. It's been a crazy day cleaning and packing. It's amazing how little you can fit into 25kg checked luggage. We've donated the most insane amount of stuff that at some point we thought was necessary but now deemed worth nothing. 
Practicalities aside, I'm not sure I'm quite ready to go. We've had a intense week with two lots of family visiting. It was good to see them and say goodbye (again!) but I really do think that next time no family should visit in the last two weeks of our departure. It's just too stressful. I thought that we had planned things well to say goodbye to people in a timely manner (as we were taught at St Andrew's Hall down in Melbourne) but plans schmaans.
I don't think I'm ready to go because I'm getting a little apprehensive about living in South Africa and Zambia as well as the HUGE responsibilities that my jobs will entail. Who on earth am I to take on helping a people group translate the Bible when I fail so often to just read it myself? Who am I to help Bible college students to write essays when I hate, hate, hate, hate writing essays?
Cold feet? As an aside I never had cold feet the day before we got married. I actually had to convince my dad at the back of the church to walk me down the aisle because I really wanted to get married and he insisted that I could still go home at any point if I wanted to.
But I am ready to go. I've spent YEARS studying, I've had a brief go at it in March, people have prayed over us, we've prayed, we've had the 15 or so requisite interviews, doors have been opened and others shut. We're going.
My dad would have been mighty terrified about us going. I would have either called him tonight (at 6pm so he could miss the dodgy local news but preferably not at 6:30pm when he was watching the slightly better national news) or tomorrow morning (around 6am after he got back from buying the paper and before he went out fishing/shopping/visiting friends). He would have checked that I had my tickets, passport, was getting to the airport hideously early and had checked the weather for Cape Town.

My first international flight from Brisbane to the Philippines when I was 2 years old. 
I posted over on Twitter and Facebook a few things I'm going to miss about Australia and a few things I'm looking forward to about South Africa. I'll put them here as well:
Things I'm looking forward to about South Africa #1: Learning things about God from South Africans Christians that Australian Christians don't know.
Things I'm looking forward to about South Africa #2: Becoming a Muizenberg local. It'll take a while, but I'm determined.
Things I'll miss about Australia #1: Kookaburras going so crazy ape in the morning that they nearly fall out of trees with their belly laughs.
Things I'll miss about Australia #2: The following acceptable dialogue: 'How ya going'? 'Yeah'm good.' 'Dya want something ter eat?' 'Nah'm good.'
Important purchase in prep for move to Cape Town #1: Kath and Kim season 1.
Important purchase in prep for move to Cape Town #2: 17 packets of assorted TimTams.
We're now at the stage where to not go would be just awkward. Everything's packed. Our apartment in Cape Town is ready for us. Actually we've got people to pick us up at the airport as well as bring us a meal on Sunday night and take us out to church (if we're still awake). We got a phone call from Cape Town this afternoon welcoming us. I've got a list of cafes and restaurants I want to visit next week. We're going.
It's been an amazing journey to get us this far and for it and all its ups and downs we're very grateful to God. He's changed us along the way. We're more flexible, durable and multi-useful. Like any missionary worth their salt. We're ready for whatever will come our way.

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