Jody and Sarah Fox - this phase of our Journey as IMB missionaries in Niger, West Africa

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our First 10 Days Back in the States

Written by: Sarah

After spending three years in Niger, we arrived back in the states 10 days ago.  Wow!  Already there have been so many emotions. 

We’ve been amused at watching our kids discover new things like how to flush an American toilet, how to use a gumball machine, and seeing the many automatic things – sliding doors, flushing toilets, sinks, and paper towel dispensers.  

Our kids have been excited over ‘ordinary’ things  - spotting the garbage truck outside their window TWICE in one day, counting mailboxes (253 from our home to church in case you need to know), discovering some kind of machine that dries clothes which Jordan thought perhaps the machine transports the clothes to a clothesline somewhere, meeting our new neighbors who keep giving candy to our girls, seeing a fire truck rush to a house fire, catching fireflies, eating peaches, plums, grapes, drinking fresh milk.

Lauren and Selah hugging at the airport

I have been reminded of the beauty of God’s world and enjoying it so much – trees upon trees, beautiful flowers growing everywhere…even up out of the ditches on the side of the roads, streams, lakes, corn fields, rolling hills, lush rainstorms that don’t bring dust covered living rooms and power outages.

We have been thankful for some modern conveniences.  Instead of cooking night after night I can get in the car, drive a ¼ mile to pick up a hot ‘n ready pizza or go to McDonald’s – it’s so nice to have a break from cooking.  We’re also enjoying smooth roads, cool weather, privacy, easy communication, playing sports, rocking on the front porch, vanilla coke, consistent electricity, free babysitting (thank you Grandma and Grandpa), etc. etc. etc.

Churches and family have blessed us with new clothing, preparing and furnishing a home for us, and filling our cupboards with groceries to last quite a while…including fresh baked cookies!

We’ve been thankful to once again be in a church worshiping the Lord in our heart language with brothers and sisters. 

We’ve shed tears.  Perhaps tears of fatigue and weariness.  To be honest, it’s hard to understand all the changing emotions. 

We’ve been with family.  Family is wonderful.  My mom, sister and nieces surprised us at the airport in Richmond and we were able to spend two great days with them.  And the last four days we’ve been in Corry, PA visiting with family.  Lots has changed in three years, yet in many ways it doesn’t feel like we’ve been away long at all.  We feel right at home with everyone and love our families so much.

Our girls and their cousins on the Fox family side
All this and more has happened in 10 short days.  But this is just the beginning – we still have more people to see, more things to do, more times to relax, more churches to visit, more times of worship, and certainly more emotions will come too.  We are thankful for this time in the states to get refreshed, refueled, and reconnected.  And we are excited to be able to share with others how God is at work among the Songhai people.