Hey y’all. I know it’s been a while since my last post. It’s been a crazy, trying, hilarious, busy, frustrating, enlightening, emotional couple of months. I hunkered down into survival mode and wasn’t even communicative with people I saw everyday. Support raising is plugging along (72%!) but my lack of rest has taken its toll. There were lots of meetings and presentations and not a lot of down time. I also had to pack up all my belongings, moved all my stuff out of my 18th story apartment to a storage unit, and then flyhome to Indiana for the holidays. Fun fact: it’s not Christmas with my family until there’s an emotional outburst among the sisters. It seems to happen every year. And this year, it was my fault.
I’ve also had to prepare for my final round of training: one month in Brussels for a cross cultural ministry internship. I was all booked to head on January 6th out of O’Hare airport in Chicago. The day before, there was 18 inches of snow blanketing NW Indiana and severe winds drifting it across the roads. Rather than fight a losing battle, Indiana decided to simply close all the roads that lead into Chicago. Did I mention it was -15 degrees with a wind chill of -40? Against all odds, I made it to the airport on a shuttle and even had dinner with a friend on her way to Paris. I made it onto the plane, breathed a sigh of relief and then proceeded to wait at the gate FOR 5 HOURS. All the fuel pumps on the fuel trucks had frozen and we went through 3 trucks before we finally filled up the tank. Good thing I had that 6 hour layover in London before I hopped over to Brussels.
Last excuse. I promise. I’m not a tech savvy person and I have problems with my passwords. Simply put, I lost my password to log into my wordpress account and all the steps to recover it (don’t ask) discouraged me from taking the time to actually do it. I’m sure everyone can relate to this! Thus, updating my blog was always a task for tomorrow and here we are 2+ months later. I’m sorry.
So greetings from Belgium! Well, the outskirts of Brussels in the town of Zaventem at the OM Centre if we’re going to be nitty gritty. I’m here to learn how to live and serve cross culturally. The basic run down is that I’m in class in the mornings and then serving in a cross cultural church in the afternoons and weekends while also doing homework assignments. I’ve made it through my first week and I’m so glad I’m here. The classes are wonderful and challenging. The speakers are forcing me to really take a hard look at my own cultural preferences and assumptions and how that differs and can translate into other cultures. Fascinating!
My church that my team has been assigned to is an Armenian church in North Brussels. The other two teams are working with an Iranian church as well as an international church from Scotland. Thus far, I love the people at the Armenian church. They are so welcoming and affectionate. Their English was quite good as well!! One woman, who only spoke French, told me I had a face like the sun! Haha! I took a year of French in college so I’ve been reviewing in order to survive here. Belgium actually speaks Dutch as well in the northern part of the country so I see my last name all over!
Thanks for your patience and your prayers. This time in Belgium is also forcing me to take a hard look at my personality and my heart. I apologize if any of you were frustrated with me. If it’s any consolation, I’ve been frustrated with myself as well. But I’m constantly reminded that God is good and that He loves us when we are overwhelmed by our fears, slack in our responsibilities, and get distracted by the ridiculous details. He loves us when we fall short. And we will always fall short. There’s so much in life I can’t control and I’m learning that that is an extremely good thing. We all would be crushed by the responsibility of complete control. That’s why God says His burden is easy and the yoke is light; He bears the burden of control! And so often, I try to wrestle control from God by worrying or rebelling or complaining. Trust God. He’s got it. Sometimes, you can only take one step at a time because that’s all God reveals. Belgium is my next step. I know there are more coming and I can’t wait to share with how God is leading me.