I’ve been listening to “The Weight of Lies” by the Avett Brothers lately. The chorus of the song goes like this:
The weight of lies will bring you down
And follow you to every town ’cause
Nothing happens here that doesn’t happen there
When you run make sure you run
To something and not away from ’cause
Lies don’t need an aeroplane to chase you down
The song comes with a warning to not run from your problems because you can’t escape them. Instead you should make conscious attempts at moving from place to place with purpose. I think I relate to this song because it encapsulates some of my struggles and insecurities.
Most of you who have had extended discussions with me know that I’ve read a little too much Wendell Berry and Neil Postman for my own good. Consequentially, I find myself experiencing “the grass is greener” syndrome where I assume other cultures or other periods in history are superior to the present “American Dream.” I tell myself that we modern Americans don’t know anything about the real amenities of life: community, family, religion, etc. This cynicism produces in me a struggle to appreciate a lot of what my present situation does have to offer. And so as I was thinking about going overseas, I was frequently anxious that I was going overseas to leave this country instead of going to help people.
But thankfully God orchestrates my life according to His timing and not my own. Six months ago when I began looking for mission opportunities, I was in a place of discontentment. Anyone who remembers transitioning from college to the “real world” can relate. Several mission opportunities presented themselves, but I didn’t feel particularly called to any of them. As these opportunities evaded me, my life in Northern Virginia started to work itself out. I got a promotion at work, my social circle grew, and my mood was just remarkably better. Then as I reached the height of my confidence in post-collegiate life, God placed the perfect mission opportunity in front of me.
Here’s how the story goes.
I was a groomsmen at Douglas Colby’s wedding 3 weekends ago. At this tremendous event, I met a handful of wonderful people including one of the fellow groomsmen, Woody Granger. When I asked Woody what he’s doing, he tells me that he’s going to Malawi to teach. Naturally, I was very interested and I remember telling him, “Woody, I’m going to be renting cars for another year and you’ll be in Malawi teaching…I almost would rather be doing your job….” to which he replied, “Well…I think they need a math teacher.” Woody sent me some information, and by the grace of God I have been able to work out all the details so that Wednesday, August 7th I will be living in Malawi, teaching math, for a year. I won’t bore you with all those details, but trust me when I say that getting ready in such a short amount of time is a miracle in and of itself.
So why am I going to Africa? The short answer is that I feel called and I know that help is desperately needed over there. But know that I wouldn’t be able to go without the tear-jerking support I’ve received from my family and friends (some of which I took this photo with last Saturday). Your prayers and encouragement are the means that God has used to give me the courage to uproot my life for a year. And your continued prayers are much appreciated!