Tuesday, April 26, 2011

‘Mid-Missionary’

When I arrived in Zurich, I was greeted with warm hugs and delighted screeches of joy! In a whirlwind of excited chatter, two of my Swiss classmates from Newlife Midwifery School, welcomed me to their picturesque stomping-grounds.

My first time in German-speaking Switzerland, I was glad for personal ‘tour guides and translators’ who expertly walked me through the city’s cobblestoned streets.

Since it was noon, we made our way to a gourmet sandwich shop, joining one friend’s new husband for a pic-nic by the lake. Easy laughter and excited questions continued all afternoon as I slowly realized the privilege of having such friends!

Topics bounced from babies to weddings to life in Sudan. Being surrounded by women willing to talk about the hard stuff, moved me to tears at times. These women know what it’s like to be missionaries. They know the realities of births. Unflappably patient, they took the time to listen. 

They mercilessly asked the hard questions, and then waited for me to find the right words.

Stories, that had become mundane to me, astounded them even though they read this blog. Only then did it occur to me that I only write a fraction of my life in Sudan. There is still so much I struggle to describe-- mostly emotions and impressions.

How do you blog about turmoil? How do you explain a tone of voice? How do you depict loneliness and isolation? These are things that if voiced somehow become real.

Such impressions are the white noise filling the gaps of everyday humdrum. They are the details of life in the mission field. Not everyone is interested in white noise, but these precious women were. They listened to me share, drawing out stories I’ve never shared with anyone. For that... I cannot thank them enough.

That day remains a blur of hugs, sunshine, and compassionate love.

These midwives helped me labor the hardest emotions; they loved me through the transition of culture shock, and even dislodged the mental blocks of debriefing.

For me, they can now add the title of ‘mid-missionary’ to their many degrees!

I love you ladies! Thank you!