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Going Outside My Comfort Zone

I should be used to going outside my comfort zone, I thought, as I grabbed my purse and my keys. I’ve raised support––speaking in front of crowds and befriending strangers. I’ve learned a language––blundering my way through many a stilted conversation. I’ve moved to an impoverished country––making it through culture shock. But as I left my house I was still nervous, uncomfortable.

My destination? The house of a neighborhood boy, Jidlene. He and some friends come to my gate daily for a snack and a kind word. Now it was my turn to visit his house.

As I steered the car around goats and potholes, I reminded myself that this visit was necessary to gather information my husband and I would need in order to decide about paying for his education.

When the street ended, we got out and walked. It began to rain. I clutched at the cement block wall as we descended the uneven, slippery steps into the ravine.

The stairway to descend to Jidlene's house.
The stairway to descend to Jidlene house.
As I stepped down one particularly large step, I felt my quad muscle tear. It hurt, but with perhaps twenty pairs of eyes on the white lady entering the slum, I didn’t want to appear weak, so I kept going!

Jidlene’s sister welcomed me into their house and offered me one of the two chairs in the small entryway. A curtain hung where the front door should have been. It was hot, humid, and stuffy. I felt myself becoming dizzy.

The entryway to Jidlene's house.
The entryway to Jidlene’s house.
Suddenly, I was trying to hold onto the thin strands of a dream. Someone was calling my name but I couldn’t place the voice. The dream escaped and the voice grew louder. I had passed out cold on the floor!

At the end of the day, it seemed my fears had been justified; leaving my comfort zone had hurt––literally and figuratively. But do I regret going? Absolutely not. I will put on a brave face and put myself out there again and again for the sake of the poor and the marginalized––because that’s the kind of life that my Savior lived.


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Just over a week after a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked southwestern Haiti, MAF pilot Eric Fagerland landed in the town of Jérémie with a load of relief supplies.

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