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Confessions of a Selfish Missionary

So far I have discovered through this training and communal living that... I don't like sharing as much as I would like to think. Of course, there is pleasure in sharing our new colourful pens from a package (thank you!) with our penless classmates, and delight in baking cookies to share in class, but when it comes to being put on the spot to share, it is a whole different set of emotions. The daily requests for an eraser, a highlighter, a charger, a chair, a newspaper, a teabag (or even more annoying when there is no request to accompany the borrowing). I feel like I am a hungry hawk or a mean librarian, scouring the classroom or veranda for borrowed items that need to be returned. And then later I think 'what is wrong with me? why do I have a problem sharing a pencil??!'

The hardest thing to share is our daughter. One thing we are learning through communal living in Uganda is that children become almost the community's property. 'It takes a whole village to raise a child' which sounds so rosy when it's a nice African proverb, but it is a lot more challenging when it comes to the reality of trying to discipline and raise our daughter in a way we see best when we have little undivided time with her.
Last week we were learning about Worldview, which was really interesting and relevant, and helps us to see why our teaching a few weeks ago on Spiritual Warfare was so utterly confusing because it was a tangled blend of biblical worldview and animistic worldview. It helps us to see why there is tension even living in a community when there are different worldviews coming together.

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We are reading 'African Friends and Money Matters' which is so useful in helping us understand the worldview here on borrowing and sharing and communal living and responsibilities... but I think it will take more than just reading a book and spending a few months in this community, to really understand.. (sigh).

Posted by africraigs 09:44 Archived in Uganda

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Hey! I will facebook you more later but I wanted to encourage you with your experience sharing your little girl! I remember how hard it was sometimes to feel like everyone wanted Micah or wanted us to raise him a certain way was really hard! I always felt like I had to fight for my own son! :) But it got a lot easier and now, as I see Micah here in the US, I believe that the community living he experienced in Kenya has benefited him in so many ways! And as for sharing...I totally get that too! I realize that sharing is not a strength of Westerners. I always felt that Max was much better at being generous and giving then I ever was! Praying for you guys!

by Jessica

Praying for you as it is difficult to blend cultures, especially with children!

As far as personal property, sometimes it's a fine line between feeling like you are being selfish by trying to keep track of your things or being a good steward of what God has given you because resources are limited. It was exhausting trying to keep track of my stuff while living in community. And, I would feel violated if someone came into my bedroom and took something without asking (Isn't that stealing?)which happened frequently.

Praying the Holy Spirit leads and guides you during this time of refinement.

Love you! Denise

by Denise Runge

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