Saturday, October 17, 2009

Finding my identity

Me and my girls - sometimes I forget I'm white!
As a missionary kid growing up in Africa, I always struggled a bit with my identity. I knew I was an American, but when I was in the States, I didn't feel like I belonged and it never really felt like home. But I also knew I wasn't Ugandan (where I grew up) because my skin was white and my culture and language were so different. As a child and even into my teen years I tried so hard to be like my African friends - acting like them, doing the types of things they did and even trying to speak with their accent. One day I even went as far as rubbing charcoal all over my body just so I could be black!
As a new missionary to Sudan I again feel the struggle of who I really am. I've tried so hard to learn their language and culture and learn how to do things the way they do (although I've completely failed at carrying large jerricans of water on my head!) But I'm learning something. I will never be Sudanese. I'm an American and that means it's OK to act like an American, as long as I'm not offending anyone. My Sudanese friends know I'm not Sudanese and they love me just the way I am. As I grow more comfortable with my own "culture", I'm learning to glean the good things I admire from each culture and mix them into my life. The result? A little bit of everything. But isn't that what heaven will be like?
I've learned how to make coffee Sudanese style - roasting the beans over a fire, pounding them, then brewing the very strong, black coffee.

Here I am learning to make kisra. I had another lesson today. I still haven't gotten very good at this one. It's like a giant crepe pancake but made of sorghum.


Jason and Heather Fader said...

I love this, Bethany. I love you!

isaac said...

looks more like gurasa or injara the the Etheopian kisira .kisira is three times lighter.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bethany,

Greetings in the Lord! Wonderful experience and piece of though. Hope your coffe came out very well and strong. You know, I experience the same thing - once I accepted my own culture and who I am, then I could accept other cultures and people more easily. After all, we are one in Christ, that's wonderful, isnt?

Debbie and Vanoh join me in sending our love and greetings to you - the Faders.

With love and prayers,

(on behalf of the Fachhais)

Katie said...

Hey Bethany!
Aww I love it! Miss those ladies. So much fun to see Mary and Ganye. I miss you!! My love to your family and your Sudanese family!

Anya said...

Thank you for sharing your life with us Bethany! Thank for sharing your struggles and how you have overcome them! LOve you! your friend, Anya

Anonymous said...

i can't stop thanking God for a life totally giving for His use. We love are not alone. Fred Ocheido.

Anonymous said...

Yum - I LOVE kisira and moulah!! Slimy okra -- mmmmm!! Praying for all of you who I call my "answered prayers, as I have prayed for years for God to raise up young people to carry the love of Jesus to "my people" in Yabus, Doro, Chali,.....I'm an MK who lived there in the 50s and 60s. Thank YOU for listening to God's call and so excellently loving my people!