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.
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.
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.