Sunday, June 30, 2013


This past month, I’ve had the opportunity to visit the homes of many of my students. It’s been more than a privilege to be welcomed inside their homes, to meet their families, and to understand more of where they come from. Some of their homes consist of little besides a place to sleep and a place for a fire, but boy are they proud to show it off to their mzungu teacher. And boy do I feel blessed for being considered valued enough to see deeper into their lives.

A group of my students on the porch of Marian’s home

Christine, with her mother, inside their home

Joseph and I outside his home

With Mary, the mother of one of my students, in her kitchen

Chulayo in his home

In Kulmise’s home, making chapatis with her cousin

Outside the home of Eysimbasele, one of our night guards

What makes a place a home?

Is it the four walls (or in most cases here, the dome of sticks) that surround you as you sleep at night? Is it a place you’ve been for a sustained period of time? Is it the relationships with the people surrounding you? I'd like to think that it's a nice blend of all these, with the people giving purpose and meaning to the structure and location.

Three summers ago, my home was within eyesight of the mist of Niagara Falls. The following summer, the mountainous backdrop of West Virginia became my home. Last summer, I was back to where my roots are in good ole suburban Delaware. And now this summer, my home is found within the remote desert of Northern Kenya.

And after six months here in Kenya, I’ve settled in well and become adjusted to life and routine here. Right now, this is my home. But I also know this isn’t permanent. In six more months, I will pick up my life here, and go back to Delaware, to where I grew up and to where the majority of my family and friends live. 

But at the end of the day, Delaware isn’t permanent either. Not because I have some grand plans to travel somewhere else when I return, but because no place is permanent.

And whether you've moved so many times that you've lost count or you've never been outside the boundaries of your state, I’m reminded how fleeting the term "home" is.

Ultimately, our home is not here on this earth. We were not just made for this existence. I am looking forward to the day when I meet Jesus face-to-face. Then I will be home. For good.

“For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” [Hebrews 13:14]

The same God who I will spend forever with in Heaven is the same God who loved us enough to send his Son, Jesus, to earth so that we could be brought back into a relationship with Him in the first place. I don’t deserve this Home. None of us do. But Jesus offers it to us all as a free gift.  This home that will never change, never become broken, never end. Whether you read the Bible or not, I would encourage you to check out John 14 to read what Christ says about this.

Yes, I anticipate the day when I will be reunited with my family and friends back in America, but most of all, I am yearning for the time when I will finally, truly, be home.

This is my temporary home // It’s not where I belong // Windows and rooms that I’m passing through // This is just a stop on the way to where I’m going // I’m not afraid because I know this is my Temporary Home

1 comment:

  1. Great Post Christina!

    I love your perspective. It's funny because I use the word "home" in many ways. When I'm driving back from my parents house to my apartment in delaware; I tell them I'm going home. When I tell my friends I'm going to see my parents, I tell them I'm going "home". In the former, it's to the place where I'm just going to sleep that night. In the later, it's because of my relationship with my parents. My parents just moved out of my childhood home into a new house in a different state. It is my new "home" yet doesn't feel like home since it's not where I grew up. I've physically moved 12 times now to 6 different general locations in 3 different states since I started college that I use the term so loosely and interchangably now. And it has become clear to me that none of these places is my real home. For my real home is with Jesus, my savior-king. 1st Peter 2:11 calls us foreigners and exiles (or sojourners - ESV) in this world and calls us to live God glorifying lives. By definition, foreigners and exiles do not belong to the place they are in. Sojourn, means to stay someplace temporarily. I think physically we are to do as the Lord instructed in Jeremiah 29:5 “Build houses and settle down... seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” However, we are also to recognize that this message was given to the Israelites held in captivity in Babylon and ultimately was not their true home. For in verse 10-14; the Lord promises that after a time, he will bring them out of captivity and restore them to their true home; which is the promised land. Our true home, our promised land is with Jesus in heaven. I yearn for this too; and sadly sometimes I think I yearn for my life's purpose to be complete, that God might take me home to be with him. For as Paul said, to live is Christ, to die is gain. Not that I am eager to experience death; but that I want to experience Christ, God, in all his fullness and of course to be free of the sufferings of this world. However, I think I personally need to becareful in this because it may be more out of a selfish desire to avoid hardship that I long for this.

    Coming up on 6-months now then huh? I hope your doing well Christina! If it hasn't already been hard (which it probably already has); I hear that it might hit you finally around the 6-month mark! But at the same time, it's wonderful to see how much you've been blessed and the relationships you've been building with your students. I just heard a message referencing John Piper and how God has appointed gratitude as the one of the essential guardians of your soul, and to kindle in you a deep feeling of thankfulness to the Lord. It's from an exposition of Colossians 2:1-8. I tell it to you that you may be "be encouraged in heart and united in love"... "For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is."

    May God bless you, your ministry, and your community! May you experience the peace and fullness of our Lord.

    Best Regards,
    Michael Wang