Sunday, 8 February 2015

Where is home?

I’m sitting in my ‘home’ in Mbeya – a colleague’s house that I am using for several months while she is back in her ‘home’ country. In many ways it already feels like home, with some of my pictures on the walls, my piano by the window and the lovely view of the mountains. But I know it’s only temporary.

I’ve been twice to the house in Mshewe, where I hope to live when focusing more on working with people in the Safwa language area. I’ve taken photos and tried to think through what I might need to take, but right now I have no idea how long I will spend there and how it will work out and whether it will ever feel like ‘home’. I hope to have my first stay there from mid-March, perhaps for an initial period of two to three weeks, but we’ll see – things have a habit of changing here from week to week! Mshewe is in a beautiful area, though it could feel rather lonely living alone in a big house. If you’d like to come for a virtual visit, click here to see a few pictures and hear some traditional Safwa music.

Mbeya does feel like ‘home’ again in many ways, but at the same time I feel like I am in a permanent state of transition, between one house and another and between England (which is also very much ‘home’ to me, both Lapworth and Gloucester) and Tanzania. I find I don’t buy books or too many ‘things’ because I never know when I will pack up and move again, and the more stuff you have the harder that becomes. It’s always a challenge making a place feel like home in such a way that it is also easy to up and go!
All these changes keep life interesting but also make it a bit unsettling. Maybe this is one of the reasons I look forward to the future. I recently read again these verses from John 14, where Jesus said:

“In my Father’s house are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you. And…I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”