The Spirit leads a faithful heart in surprising ways. The Rev. Viking Dietrich responded “Here am I,” when called to serve as an ELCA Global Mission regional representative for West Africa and move from Senegal to Ghana. The Spirit is also present as Pr. Dietrich ventures into a new virtual world to “tell the story” through his new blog: vikinginwestafrica.wordpress.com. Find an excerpt of his first blog, below.
I wish I were more at ease with this. I have wanted to start a blog or a facebook page or something in order to share some experiences with friends, but I am on new terrain here.
I remember 16 years ago, moving to Dakar, Senegal and feeling like I didn’t know where any road would lead me. If I turned or went straight where would I end up? Day by day, month by month, I explored more and more of the city, learned more and more of its people and culture, felt more and more comfortable; in fact, I eventually felt at home. Sixteen years later, I knew the roads in Dakar: from the Almadies to Yeumbeul, Sacre Ceour to Malika, the Plateau to Keur Massar; Sangalkam to Mboro, to Tivauane to Louga, to Linguere, to Dodji. From Senegal, I traveled across the Sahel to Bamako to Douentza, Niamey to Maradi, Ouaga to Bobo, Ndjamena to Tibati, Jos to Numan. A lot of cities, a lot of villages.
But today I am in a new city in West Africa, in Ghana, in Accra. A place I’ve never been before. New roads to explore in my 2002 Hilux, new intersections to discover like the Tetteh Kwarshie roundabout and 37, new people, new day. I miss the comfort of familiar terrain, familiar languages and conversations. I miss driving the Avensis, the ceebu jeen (rice and fish) and friendly salutations in Pulaar. Mi haali tigi.
Today I am in a new city but not a new place. This is a place where grace is encountered; where the past is little to be counted and the future, unknown as it is, is all; where God rearranges our lives and requires us to question our dependencies and personal merit, and to put our trust in Him, our Creator; to jump off the structures we have created and into the life that God intends for us.
So, boldly go I into this new terrain of blogs and wikis. I have a lot to learn. If I do this, or click on that, I will probably hit some potholes, but I hope to be driving comfortably in this new format, sharing with you our new adventures and from time to time some of the old.
–Viking Dietrich, ELCA Global Mission Regional Representative for West Africa