First published this in February, 2011 after 2 short years in Africa. Recently passed my 7 year anniversary and stumbled across Palmer Chinchens book again for a re-read. So many more experiences since 2011, some amazing, some not so much. At the end of the day….I’m still an expat. Still live the flowers, beautiful children, kids having fun, opportunity to feed the children, being up close and personal to love them and let them know there is a God in heaven who loves them immeasurably. Public urination (sorry no pic for this one), nose picking….I have adjusted. Snakes…..not so much. Its a great life. Not much I miss in America…except my wife…and we are believing for her to be able to join me soon.
From February, 2011 I HAVE A NEW NAME
So I have added a new name to the many things I have been called over the years, many of which should never be repeated or put in print so I will refrain from sharing. Those that have known me for a longer period, including my days before meeting Jesus will know of the more colorful of these names.
So here’s the new name, “expatriate”….or “expat” for short. I have heard the term used many times over the years and sort of understood the meaning, I just never attached it to myself. Here is the official dictionary meaning of the word, from ……where else?…..dictionary.com!!!!
|resident in a foreign country|
|exiled or banished from one’s native country|
Since I have not been exiled or banished (not to my knowledge anyways), I suppose I fit #1 since I live in a foreign country. Like I said I have heard the term used many times but never really gave it a thought as to applying to me. At least not until I read the following description from Palmer Chinchen in his book “ True Religion: Taking Pieces Of Heaven To Places Of Hell On Earth” CAUTION: Reading this book may radically affect the way you view your responsibility to others who are not as fortunate as you!!! Go ahead…I dare you. Hers what the book had to say;
“Expatriates live differently. Expats (as expatriates are referred to in international circles) soak up the world in which they land. They don’t try to take home with them. They absorb the smells. They soak up the uniqueness of the culture.
Expatriates are resilient. They have resolve and learn to adapt and improvise. They expect little. They find guilty pleasures in luxuries as simple as an air conditioned restaurant, a hammock by the beach, an ice cold Coca Cola….in a glass bottle.
The Sandals all inclusive frequenter is not the expatriate. The get-out-of-the-tour-bus-and-take pictures crowd is not the expatriate. The loud obnoxious guy in the hotel swimming pool is not the expatriate. Becoming the expatriate involves a new way of living, a new way of thinking, a new way of believing, a new way of dreaming.
I’ve observed something true in practically all expats. Once they have tasted the haphazard, horn- honking, chickens everywhere, annoying vendors, pungent odor, soggy air, crazed taxi drivers, drunk policemen, disorienting, take life as it comes world away from home….they want more.
When expatriates return “home”, their souls shrivel. They cringe at chain anything. The suburbs and minivans and strip malls and fast food suck their spirits dry. They can’t wait to board the next plane to somewhere far and away.
And maybe life is better like that. This world is not for making home, so live on the go—-go and live; really, really live.”
After I read that, then read it again…and read it again I realized, “hey, that’s me” . I’m not saying that everyone should be…or even could be an expat but I can say that it fits me quite nicely. AND….you will never know until you try……will you????
Your generous donations are helping to feed, clothe, provide clean water and send children to school. If you would like to partner with me in Africa:
You may simply click on “Partner With Me” at the top of this page. Or go to:
Click Donate & select my name
USA & International Cards accepted
Or Mail Checks to -
World Outreach Ministries
P.O. Box B
Marietta, GA 30061
(designate for Pier, Fund Code #68)