what I brought home from Africa Mercy

I’ve been home from Africa for just about 2 months. I visited all my people. I settled into a new place by the beach. I’m in my second week of work. My heart is filled with peace, joy, and contentment. Finally.

This week, I started thinking about all the things I learned over the last year while serving with Mercy Ships. Here they are for you in a list in no particular order.

  • I LOVE people. All cultures. All religions. All colors. Rich. Poor. Male. Female.
  • Turns out I’m not as nomadic as I believed.
  • I need more stability than I thought. My flexibility had a breaking point.
  • I had to leave before everyone else because saying goodbye kills me a little every time. I see that now as I watch via Facebook as so many of my friends are now leaving the ship.
  • I really do need steady alone time to be happy.
  • I can only work and live in the same place for short periods of time.
  • I don’t mind talking to large groups of people. I just don’t want to meet them.
  • I’m better one on one or in very small groups.
  • I learned to be okay with people invading my space. So much so that when the little old lady volunteer grabbed my shirt yesterday to look down and see my tattoo I didn’t freak out. But don’t get any crazy ideas!
  • I really missed having my own place.
  • Sometimes you have to go really far away to realize how content you really were.
  • It doesn’t matter how rich you are, if you don’t have Jesus you are poor. I lost sight of that for awhile.
  • I really want to keep serving the people of the third world.
  • Its okay to take a year to just be.
  • Sticky Tack for hanging things on a wall is a must have.
  • As Christmas approaches, I keep reading the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke. When the angel visits Zechariah in the temple to tell him his wife will have a baby, he questions the angel, How do I know you’re telling me the truth? is basically the gist of the question. The angel responds, I am Gabriel and because you didn’t believe, you’ll be mute until your son is born. I wonder why he didn’t just write down what happened when people asked him? When Elizabeth delivered John, Zechariah wrote down his name is John when the people said there were no Johns in the family.

    These are the things I’m thinking about. How about you?

    His… Michelle

    I’m linking up with my friend Lyli @ Thought Provoking Thursday. Be sure to go over and see what other folks are thinking about.

    receptionist’s log: final edition – the lessons

    Poston, Arizona. Laura Mukogawa, Beauty shop r...

    Poston, Arizona. Laura Mukogawa, Beauty shop receptionist – NARA – 536653 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    I officially became a summertime receptionist on  the 4th of June. I want to thank God for bringing me through to the other side 8 weeks later. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a small list of lessons I learned from this summertime job:

    1. People have questions, a lot of questions
    2. People will ask questions I don’t have answers for
    3. I do not like not having answers
    4. This makes me very uncomfortable
    5. The Africa Mercy gets a lot of phone calls
    6. See number 3 above
    7. I am good with lists and printing forms
    8. I actually like monitoring the fire panel
    9. I particularly like talking to the duty officers via radio
    10. The last three things do not qualify me for the very important title of receptionist

    This has been the most challenging job I’ve ever had. Being  receptionist on the Africa Mercy requires skills I just don’t have. A receptionist needs to be cheerful at all times. Cheerful is not an adjective I would ever use to describe myself. I believe the gift of hospitality is also a strong character trait of a receptionist. Again, a big fat zero for me.

    But through this job, God has been faithful to show me I also have an issue with repressing my feelings. He’s showing me I seriously need to work on and overcome this issue if I want to do more than survive here. So even though it’s been a long, challenging summer, I have no doubt it’s been the summer I was meant to have. God does not make mistakes!

    Thanks for coming along for the receptionist’s log ride!

    His… Michelle
    Philippians 1:20