Going to the Beach and Discovering Another Side of Missions Work

Finally someplace familiar: the beach! I absolutely love the ocean, so I was glad to have gotten to visit one here in Zanzibar. Of course, being an island there is no shortage of beautiful beaches. We went to one that also offered boat rides to see dolphins. I was apprehensive about this at first because I have had some unpleasant experiences with boats. We also went immediately after lunch, which I knew right away was a bad idea. My stomach dropped when I saw the small motor boat we were to go in but I steeled myself and thought, hey this trip is about taking risks, right? I hung onto the wooden bench for dear life but the ride didn’t turn out to be quite as horrible as I expected. There was only one or two times that I thought I was going to fall into the water…
After riding out into the Indian Ocean for a while, we finally caught a glimpse of some dolphins. They are absolutely majestic creatures. Sometimes people try to swim with them, but these dolphins weren’t feeling friendly. Everytime we got close, they swam away in a hurry. It would have been amazing to be able to swim with them, but maybe I’ll get another chance.
After returning to shore, I got to swim for a while. I can officially say I swam with nuns, which I’m sure not many people can. Strangely, they actually didn’t know how to swim and it was hilarious to watch them maneuver among the waves so they didn’t get knocked down.
I just realized that some of my readers are probably asking themselves: Isn’t she supposed to be doing missions work? Going to the beach, shopping – this doesn’t sound like helping people. I almost fell into this trap too, until I remembered something a very wise person once told me: A large part of a missionary’s work is learning about the culture in which you are serving. I see this trip as mainly consisting of this type of missions work. I am getting to know the people of Machui and their language. I am here to receive and to learn, rather than to help and teach(although I’m still doing those things too). With this preparation, I hope to return to Africa some day and be better equipped to help its people. I will also be doing more direct work once the students return and am preparing for my work with them. So blogwatchers, don’t fear! I haven’t forgotten that I am here to do God’s work and am experiencing His presence fully in the people of Machui.

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1 comment

  1. Sharon - Reply

    I am loving your blogs. I have to say I was laughing so hard that I was crying when you wrote you swam with a nun.
    Can’t wait to read the next one
    God bless,

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