McClenahens to Mozambique
"…That they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

Hakuna Matata- Easier Said Than Done

January 7, 2015 by rkmcclenahen

If you remember from the Lion King “Hakuna Matata” is Swahili for “No Worries.” It is true that this is a part of the natural mindset here, however, for us it is taking a while to set in. (Truthfully, I don’t know if it will ever fully take root!) After 8 months here in Africa, more than a third of our time here has already passed, and yet, we are finding that just now we are starting to feel the real discomfort of staying here. Perhaps it is because we are just now feeling settled in our house, or perhaps it is because we have just endured the hottest month of the year. Though we are “settled,” we are realizing, rather disappointingly at times, how much this home will never really fully feel like home. (At least for Rusty and I. The kids cannot imagine anything better, it seems!) I find myself coming to grips with the fact that I will never feel comfortable walking around our house without shoes on- not something I realized before makes my house a home for me. After finding 3 large poisonous centipedes and probably 30 smaller ones, about 10 scorpions, and numerous cockroaches, I am fairly certain that we will never fully rid our house of these delightful nocturnal pests, which leaves me always worrying about the possibility of them winding up in our children’s beds. The water is a concern- when it’s not raining, we rely on purchasing it and hauling it to our house. When it rains, it pours- down our walls inside half the rooms in our house. Rusty and I enjoy watching movies in the evening on our laptop when we go to bed, but really, it’s just not the same trying to watch something through a mosquito net, with the volume at an appropriate level to hear over the noise of the fan a foot away, but not too loud for our neighbors sleeping right outside our open window and front fence. I never really realized before that by living here we would become experienced in doing a whole host of things by candlelight, including showering. It’s kind of funny, though, that our kids have added the phrase “the power’s out” to their daily vocabulary, and that they say it very matter-of-factly without a whole lot of whining about it most the time.

Although in the grand scheme of things these are all still insignificant costs of seeing the lost won to Christ, it is a very real fact that our physical challenges as such affect our disposition and our energy for ministry. And while they may be small costs to bear in the long run, we still have to make the sacrifices, and often that is hard to do day after day. We share this with you to say that we really do ask for your prayers, even over the silly everyday things. Sometimes they can be completely overwhelming and I wonder how we will ever do all that we hope to do in the next 14 months, especially when practical daily living alone takes so much time and energy out of us.

Don’t worry, all hope is not lost and everything is not a complaint or concern. We are actually amazed at all that God has blessed us with as we look back over 2014. We especially recognize that His timing, and not ours, proved perfect time and again, revealing many of our worries as unmerited. We eagerly await what is coming in this new year. He is GOOD, and He sustains us. And He will be faithful to finish what He started. Pray that we would rise to all these challenges in the way that He desires us to, and that we would continue to press on to reach the goal He has set in front of us for this time. Thank you for joining in the battle to see the Mwani have life to the full through Christ! It is not necessarily a life without bugs, a life without concern, a life without hardship, or a life designed for comfort. It is a life that will last into eternity, and a life filled with the everyday awesome presence of a God like no other, who loves unconditionally and moves on behalf of those who wait for Him. May we, and may you, also learn more of what it means to have this fullness of life through Christ, though it may cost us. It’s gonna be worth it all.

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5 Responses to “Hakuna Matata- Easier Said Than Done”

  1. Mary Swenson Says:

    Thanks for the update. You are in our prayers. Specific prayers going up for no bugs or creeping critters!!!!! Makes me shiver!

  2. Russ Frase Says:

    So proud of you all. It can be a grueling experience in certain ways. I don’t like the critters and have terminated quite a few.
    Thanks for being an example for all of us.

    Blessings,

    Pastor Russ & Lana

  3. Paul Azevedo Says:

    May the Lord continue to bless your family in this new year.

  4. Jenny Says:

    Praying for you guys. We are so proud of you and pray that you will be able to put one foot in front of the other and that God would guide your steps! We love you guys!!!

  5. Tanya Garwood Says:

    I’m in awe of you guys. Really. You listened to what God put on your hearts. You knew it would be hard but you did it anyway. I’m sorry for when it’s really, really hard. I’m so happy for those moments you get to have of why it’s all worth it. Hang in there! We’ll pray for strength, patience and more of the good stuff!

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