Above is the front view of our home in South Africa. I took this photo the morning I left to fly up to North Africa. Even though it is heart-wrenching to leave all your "home" comforts, family, friends and pets, it is my place to be at my husband's side.
The Word tells us in Genesis 2:18
"And the Lord said, it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him."
For those women who live normal lives with their husbands coming home after a day's work, this may not seem real. But it is. There are expat wives all over the world who are not able to join their husbands who work away from home. Often these are young women who raise their families on their own. They deal with the household bills, the car problems, the school head's summons. Everything.
In February 2004, I was blessed with a job on the gold mines of Guinea where my husband was managing the contracting company's plant division. I spent three blissful years on an exploration camp with my husband and sixty other expats. At first we were only a few women on site. Gradually more men were encouraged to bring their spouses over to live with them. I made many friends and even ran a health/weight-loss club every Saturday morning at my home. Not only did the club member's weigh-in at my home, but I gave a motivational talk on how to maintain a healthy life-style. It was also part of my job to edify and uplift the women who stayed on camp all day. This took the form of intra-active discussions around the table on my veranda.
In 2006, my contract ended (the company changed hands and I, along with a number of other expats, were not part of their future). My husband's company also did not renew their contract with this new mining concern and his site was in the throes of breaking up their workshop. I flew home alone and spent the following three years in South Africa. During this period I spent many precious hours with my children and their children (we all lived in the same town then) and really got into my passion of gardening.
In August 2009, exactly three years since I'd left West Africa, I flew up to the Sudan to be with my husband. Back here in Khartoum, in North Africa, life is very different. Different to my life in South Africa and very different to the expat life I lived in Guinea, West Africa. My husband is the only expat working for his company so we know no-one at this stage. However, I am with my husband (as my dear friend Betsy commented yesterday) and with a little innovation, am settling in to life in an African city.
I hold onto God's promise in the Psalms:
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you. Psalm 37:5
Amen, Lord, amen!