Name: David Wigger
YAV Year: Kenya, 2011-2012
Now: Louisville, KY (Louisville Seminary)
What broke your heart?
People, pain, poverty
What’s one of your most vivid memories from your year?
One evening my spouse and I decided to take a walk. These walks were never easy. Locals would stare at us, point at us, and yell “Mzungu” (“white person”) at us. For an introvert that does not like being the center of attention these walks were excruciating. As we walked past one house, a woman came out. She walked next to us for a while, trying to talk to us in Kiswahili. We had had enough language lessons to know she wanted us to go into her house, but that was about as far as we could get. Tired of being a novelty, we declined, and kept walking. On our way back it started raining. Soon it was a downpour. Then we saw the same woman from before. This time she held an umbrella; and this time she insisted (in a language we could not speak) that we come into her house and out of the rain. While inside, she fed us, and smiled at us, and loved us. We could not speak to each other, but that did not matter. She was simply happy to be present with us. And in her I saw Jesus Christ. In her I saw the God that I worship. In her presence, I was in God’s presence. Our time with her was fleeting. We were anxious to get back as soon as the rain stopped. But the power of that interaction has stayed with me.
What’s one thing you learned?
I know so much less than I think I do.
What made you laugh during your YAV year?
Tricia, Amelia, Jamie, and Amy
What do you miss the most about your YAV year?
I miss the vulnerability, which I was really happy to leave.
What’s one thing you did that you never thought you would?
Become closer to my spouse.