Facing the Foreign Familiar


selfie within a selfieAs I’m nearing the eve of our departure for the States on our first home assignment, I must confess, I’m a bit shocked. In some ways, it feels like yesterday that we were getting our bags unpacked and our little house outfitted here in Kenya. But to be nearly two years in, and looking now at closing up our little house for the first time, is mind-boggling. Where was all of that time spent?? In reflection, it was spent traveling, training, getting malaria, making multiple hospital visits for various ailments, enjoying quality conversations over steaming cups of Kenyan chai and mandazi with newly acquainted friends, learning Swahili, failing at Swahili, trying out new areas of ministry to fail and try again and again, hanging the laundry up to dry in the African sun day in and day out, crying tears of exhaustion and tears of elation, and above all coming face to face with a new self. A self well known and a self still to be known.

As I face returning to the familiar, I own that I am not the same as I was when I left it for foreign lands. I own that when I step foot on the soil of my homeland, it will not feel quite like the home I knew and once invariably belonged to. I own that I will be a foreigner in the familiar, treading lightly on old, well-worn paths. I now understand this byproduct of living abroad, that I belong nowhere, and yet feel that I can now belong anywhere, in a sense.

What will it be like to be “home” but to realize in a new way that “home” is what I carry with me? That as a wife and a mother, I.Am.Home. to three hearts. This is my cherished burden to bear and my blessing to bestow. I own the trials of this first season, allowing the lessons within each one to chip away at the rough edges. I own the triumphs as well, allowing the hard won victories to propel me forward in fierce Hope and carefully crafted perspective.

Yes, nearing the eve of our departure, I face the foreign familiar. But when  I stop to reflect on this, I see that I’ve been facing the foreign familiar all along, it’s been staring back at me in my own reflection.




About The Moore Four

Clinton and Pahtyana Moore served in pastoral leadership for several years before moving to Eastern Africa with SIM. Their passion for discipling people who go and make disciples who make disciples has led them all across Kenya over the past few years. They currently are expanding a uniquely powerful ministry called CellKenya that fosters spiritual growth through community in the rual areas of Kenya. As they equip and empower local church leaders and members of the congregation to engage with each other weekly in home-based discipleship, these groups then go out and engage their communities each week in tangible ways with the Love of Christ. The Moores have recently launched the Disciple Maker's Experience- a unique 6-month long course that empowers and equips individuals to practically walk out what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. In this experience, students not only are equipped to become disciples themselves and lead others in discipleship but they also have the opportunity to lovingly engage their surrounding communities in unique ways. As they engage, they discover for themselves and demonstrate to others the transformative power of authentically showing the Love of Christ to those around us.

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