Home Away From Home

In a few hours, I will be stateside and I’m currently all types of emotional. I’m terrified to step onto American soil, but beyond excited to see my family. I’m scared to be anywhere except Zambia, but I’m excited for some Chick-fil-A. I’m scared to walk into my house, but excited to hug my dog. I’m scared to see my old friends again, but I’m excited for a hot shower and soft bed. I’m fearful of not having my Zambia community, but excited to hang out with my friends.

It’s been almost a month since I’ve been here and it’s hard to describe exactly what I’m feeling. I don’t feel like I have a life in America anymore. I can’t picture myself driving to the movies or eating out with my friends. My life has drastically changed, I’m a completely different person now.

My life this past month has looked like living with people 24/7. It’s looked like practicing healing and stepping into His presence and loving on kids. It’s looked like immersing myself fully in a culture and stepping into a country that now feels like home. It’s looked like seeing the juxtaposition of pain and poverty with joy and beauty. It’s looked like power outages and cold showers. It’s looked like teaching the Gospel to eleven kids with absolutely no qualifications except love and willingness. It’s looked like countless braids in my hair and fun laughs with friends. It’s looked like community and vulnerability and freedom. It’s looked like good ministry and hard ministry. It’s looked like an abundance of coffee. It’s looked like a constant layer of dust on your skin. It’s looked like Zambia. It’s looked like Africa. It’s looked like Jesus. It’s looked like home.

I’m most scared that America will be the same but I’ll be completely different. Or that we both will be different and I just won’t fit in anymore. As I prepare for this plane to land I have to keep reminding myself that it was all worth it. God needed me in Zambia but right now He needs me in America more. I’m trying to trust in His timing and to press into His love. Jesus you and Zambia have both been beyond worth it.

-Carly Arnett, 2019 Summer Intern

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