As I recall, I wrote my last post after deciding to go to Cameroon. I made that decision after learning that "essential personnel" could return to Chad. I decided on Cameroon with the understanding that there was a chance Chad would be open again in a few weeks. At that point, I felt like I had been on a roller coaster so long that I really needed to get off. So I emailed all of the right people and told them that Cameroon was my choice.
It felt really good to know what I was doing. I was still kind of hanging on the Chad, I guess, and wishing I could go there, but still, just having a plan was a big relief.
However, that relief didn't last very long. Just a couple of days later, I heard from the doctor in Chad. Adventist Volunteer Services, the organization that I am going through, is accepting volunteers for Chad again. So after a lot more crying and praying and talking to important people, I decided to pursue Chad one more time.
That was like...last week, I think. Now, I'm waiting for a visa to Chad.
It has been very interesting to hear people's reactions when I tell them that I'm going to Chad after all. Some people are thrilled. Some are just relieved that I've finally decided what I'm doing. (Actually maybe not...I don't know). But some people have expressed valid concerns. While I haven't taken the political unrest in that area of Africa very seriously up until this point, the area around Chad is, in fact, quite unstable. I don't really know what to believe about Chad itself, but there could potentially be significant concerns there as well. In addition to that, perhaps of greater relevance to me at this point, is the potential to become extremely sick. Again, I've been aware of that potential all along, but I haven't really taken it too seriously. Chad has lots of malaria, as well as things like typhoid, giardia, tuberculosis, hiv. Those are all diseases that I would really rather not get, incidentally. And I probably won't get most of them. But one never knows.
At this point, I feel that God has opened the door to Chad once again. Because it appears to be open, I have started walking towards it. I don't know if the door will stay open. At this point, I'm not really going to believe that I'm going until I'm there. If the door closes again, I will remove Chad from my list of options for this year. If it stays open, I will go to Chad. I don't know at this point. But I know that God has a plan, and that someday I will realize that I learned a lot through this experience.
In the mean time, if I go to Chad I could theoretically leave next week.