Nasrania = foreigner (in Hassaniya); originally comes from “Nazareth,” alludes to followers of Jesus.
Sahara = my desert home for 8 months, October – May
I’m living, teaching and advocating in the Saharawi refugee camps in southern Algeria. “Nasrania in the Sahara” is my attempt to regularly update you all on my life here, from the mundane, sand-covered everyday to all the ways I hope to see God work through this time.
I’ve been back in America for 2 weeks now, and have been hard-core procrastinating on giving you all a May update from the desert, but for the sake of finishing the monthly updates I’m finally doing it! I was only in the camps for the first half of May, but it was a sweet and memorable time with my friends and desert family.
We were invited to our friend Mohamed Sulaiman’s opening of the art studio he spent the last year working so hard on, which was incredible to see! Even knowing a little about his talent, not just with art, but with turning garbage found all over the camp into art (and using other garbage to make tools to make art…) – I am so inspired by what he does!
We’ve been having some fun as a foreigner-family, and enjoying the coming of summer in familiar ways! Of course, until the sun gets too high and we have to hide from the mid-day heat.
All of my red-book students (both my classes, at the second of four levels) passed their exams and will be able to start the blue book next year! I’m super proud of my two classes and will honestly miss their laughter and love over the summer. I was able to see most of them one last time at a class party, which was a lot of fun.
And of course you can never be too familiar with a place to experience new things. For me, that meant witnessing a goat slaughter, followed by the cleaning/cooking/eating of it. It was interesting – not something I want to see again though.
Between the crazy busyness of returning to several weddings, graduation, and a bunch of in-Wisconsin travel, I’ve been doing a little bit of reflecting on what God has been teaching me through these last 8 months in the desert. Hopefully I’ll get around to sharing some of that too, when I’ve figured out at least some of the words to describe what I’m feeling being in America but looking into the future in the desert.