Plus Belle La Vie

A More Beautiful Life

Category: Personal Stories (Page 1 of 2)

Mom – Maman

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<< LYZETTE >>

Not the name I first knew you as. To me you are “mom”.
I only have ever called you by your given name when you were distracted – a.k.a. doing something else and not giving your undivided attention to us.2015_08_27_07_42_070001

When I was in 6th grade, I was at the age where thinking y’all (my parents) weren’t cool. So being a person who idolized the mainstream, I didn’t appreciate you. After being told by many of my friends that you were awesome. I decided I would give you a chance to prove it. Today and forever, I am happy to say that y’all are my best friends and I regret not appreciating you sooner.

You weren’t just a mother to me. You were a mom to many of my friends as well. It is no wonder that a majority of the youth group called you “Mamma Lyzette”. It wasn’t just because you fed them, but because you listened to them and advised them.2015_08_27_07_42_070011

Countless times my friends asked me to come over, but not to hangout with me – to talk with you about what was going on in their lives and to ask for your opinion.

Thank you mom for always being an encouragement to me. A role model. Someone whom I am proud to say, “Yes, that is my mom.”

2015_08_26_07_59_540011Thank you for sacrificing so much for me, my siblings, my friends, our family, and even people we didn’t know at the time (because after a interaction with said person they were immediately invited to be apart of our family). You have shown me what it means to be a servant leader. You have helped me become the person I am today. Continually encouraging me to love our Saviour and unselfishly putting me in his hands knowing that I am safe there.

I miss you so terribly much. Enjoy your Mothers Day with the family.

I love you.

In Christ Alone

When I was in India this song “In Christ Alone” was constantly in my head. I would be singing it while I took a bucket shower or humming it as I was walking through a Buddhist temple or just singing it with my team as we drove through the foothills of the Himalayas.

This part of the song is something I think on especially today:

And as He stands in victory
Sins curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

I rejoice in this.

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a lifes first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

I pray constantly for Gods Will to be done in my life, but then when something happens and it doesn’t go according to what I want Gods Will for my life to be I get upset with him. How could he do that to me? His child? I left my home for him. I left my everything for him. Why couldn’t he just do this one thing for me.
Then during my tantrum I see what I have done. I have made a hypocrite of myself. I told him one thing, but in my heart I was in a since trying to bribe God. Look at me, a good little Christian girl serving in France. NOW, give me what I want, but I will wrap it with “Oh, Let your will be done.”

Sadly, I say that I do this more often than not. Do I do the things that I do because I want to use it as leverage towards God (as if I could actually have leverage against him) or do I do them because I love him? I can be so childish and forget what he has already done for me. He doesn’t OWE me anything. I OWE him everything. My breath. My family. My friends. My finances. Nothing is mine. It is all his.

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

I just think on this. That there is nothing that can take me from his hold. He is not the God of solely the United States, He is the God of the World. He created it. He holds it firmly. His will is being done even when it doesn’t seem that way (example of Joseph being sold into slavery).

I stand for him, because of what he has done for me. Every now and then I remember that the reasonfor me being in France is called “a mission trip”. I guess I had to leave my home to see it clearly though, because for me now this is not just a trip for a few weeks, build something, do a bible lesson, have a good time with my youth group (Not saying that any of that is a bad thing).

This is life.

I think we can forget that we are all on a mission field. That each of us, in Christ, have a mission. That mission is to spread the Good News of who he is and what he has ultimately done for us. When you go to work, to school, pack your kids lunches (or don’t), or do whatever it is you do (like lay in a eno all day). Do not think you are any less important than the person next to you or that they are any less important than you, because I have some Good News for you.

Whether you think so or not, you are a sinner, but the Good News is that there is a way to not be condemned for it. CHRIST IS ALIVE. God has made a way. I advise you take it, cling to it, and in return, Live for it. No, you don’t have to tell every person you meet (because when you don’t speak the same language that makes things a little complicated), but you have your hands, some kind of talent, so SERVE.

God sent me away from my home to realize this.

Enjoy your Easter my family and friends.

Some Things are Hard

As of right now I am on my trek from Llanelli, Wales to Marseille, France.

The last few days have been very hard for me emotionally. Yesterday, I found out that a woman that used to be my neighbor, my mothers friend, the mother of my brothers best friend, just a great person to be around had passed away. I had recieved this news right after giving a presentation/speech on what I will be doing in Marseille.

My trainer took me aside to tell me this news. Before this, I was smiling and so full of joy, as I was ready for this new adventure. When she told me she recieved a email from my mother, I knew. There was something awfully wrong. She said there was a death. I laughed in her face because I couldn’t believe what she had just said. She told me the name and I stared at her. Just sat there staring at her. Then I just started to sob. It was true.

I fixed my hair, dried my tears, and drank the rest of my coffee. They told me to take as much time as I needed, I didn’t have to go to class. 

I smiled at them, thanked them for their curtesys  and went up stairs to my joined room. Once the door closed behind me I fell to my knees and sobbed again. Questions flooded my mind. My mother must be in pain. My family must be heartbroken. What can I do from so far away? Her children are now orphans. What will happen next? Why now?

I picked myself off the floor and went for a walk outside. I didn’t make it far, I hadn’t told my teammates yet. So I just sent them a text “I need your help…”. They came running, no coats on out into the cold wet weather of Llanelli. For over an hour we talked and prayed and ate cake and walked.

They supported me during this hard time. 

Today, I talked with my bestfriend back home. She told me that her mother is in the hospital and has been there for awhile now. This broke me more. How can so much tragedy be happening when I am a ocean away, countries away, time zones away? There is nothing I can do.

One of my trainers came to me after hearing this news and told me that I was a strong person. She said that it showed real character for someone to pick themselves up and to just move forward. What she didn’t know is before she walked into the room I had been crying for a good 30 minutes. Kind of pitieing all of these situations.

I saw all of this because, yes, it is fun being overseas, it is fulfilling to serve the Lord, but it is also hard. You learn a whole new level of trust in the Lord.

You trust that he will put his arms around your family, since you can’t.

You trust that his ways are perfect and there is a time for all things. No, I do not know why. But I do know this, that my God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and he loves his children dearly.

You, also, realize that life doesn’t stop when you leave. Things are constantly changing and growing. Babies being born, people getting sick, others getting married, people experiencing joys, and others experiencing sorrows.

There will be more challenges in France. I will miss things back home, but I will be finding new joys in new places.

Please, pray for my family, Jackie Haas’ Family, my bestfriends – Aliyah – mother, and me. Thank you.

The Little Things

I am now back in Wales for a few days finishing up some last minute details for my stay in France (I will be back in France on the 14th of January).

During my last 4 months, I have seen different characteristics of God.

A recurring one is the fact that he loves me and listens/cares for even the little things that I pray for.

With traveling I am not guaranteed much. A place the charge my phone, a nice place to sleep, food that is familiar(or food period), someone that speaks my language, a nice person, etc.

To be honest I have mini heart attacks every time I start traveling. Fears start arising. “What if I miss the bus?” “What if it doesn’t even come?”, “What if my plane is delayed, which means that I miss my bus.”, “what if…”, “what if…”, “what if…”.

In Lakeland, I didn’t have these kind of fears. I had a lot of certainty. If my car broke down I could call my parents. If my parents couldn’t come, then my grandparents would. I see now that I took those things for granted. They didn’t have to do that and many people around the world don’t have people in their lives to do that for them.

I don’t have certainty 100% of the time now. Certainty is not a everyday guarantee, but there is one thing that I am certain of now when times get complicated. That God is with me. That he listens to my prayers and he soothes my fears.

Many, many times, I have been afraid of different things going on. But God shows me that he is in control of the situations.

When leaving Italy I had purchased train tickets to leave from Avigliana to Torino, Torino to Savona, then Savona to Marseille on the 19th of December. Well, I missed the train from Torino to Savona, but luckily for me Jim (the missionary in Italy that I was staying with) was with me. He told me as we got off the train that the Italians are not known for their customer service. So as we were walking up to the customer service counter I prayed intently for a nice understanding gentlemen.
That is what we got.

When our number was chosen, a very nice man helped us sort it out, I would have to leave the next day, but it was sorted.

The next day, I missed the first train from Avigliana to Torino.
Truns out the train schedule for a sunday is different than the other days of the week.
Again, luckily for me Jim and Lori were at their home so they drove me to Torino in just enough time to catch the train to Savona.

With that… I had no idea what train it was that I was to take to Savona. I ran over the the customer service area – praying that the man that helped me the day before was there. He was. So I walked straight up to him. He told me to train. I found it. Got on it and sat down.

For me, just the fact that God put different things in my life to help me through the challenge was a blessing, as well as, the fact that he answered my prayers, even the little ‘petty’ ones.

There has been so many other occasions that he has answered my prayers.

From this I have learned that God loves each of us and he answers our prayers (with a yes, a no, or even a it is not time yet).

I feel very blessed to have this certainty, when nothing else is. I am grateful to have such a loving and compassionate God.

Pray for me as I make my way back to France on Wednesday and live there for the next 6 months.

Coaches, Planes, and Conversations

Currently, I am in Italy. The journey to get here took about 18 hours.

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My journey started in Cardiff where I was dropped off and waited 1 hour to get on a coach (which is a big charter style bus).

When I first got on this coach there was only a few people. So I was able to get a seat by myself and which in turn I fell asleep. I was awoken by a boy (around my age) getting into the seat next to me. As he was sitting down something from the shelf above fell on him thus hitting the floor and making a loud sound.

The boy sat down and put headphones in. I was now completely awake and just sat there staring at my phone (43% battery). About another 30 minutes passed and I was watching him play a game on his phone, the level he was on he had difficulty beating, but I thought I knew how to do it. So another 10 minutes passed and I tapped him on the shoulder asking him if there was a restroom on the bus. He looked at me, then said yes. He got up and let me pass.

After using the restroom I went back to my seat and opened up a bag of honey roasted peanuts. As I was eating them. I held them out to the boy sitting next to me. He was surprised I offered to share but gratefully accepted. I poured some in his hand ad our long conversation begun.

We talked for an hour about various things. I even helped him beat a few levels on the game he was playing. He was 19 and studying Art in Norwich (at least I think that is what he said from his English accent). We realized after an hour we hadn’t even told each other our names and with that I found out his name was Tom. I knew more about this guy in a matter of 2 hours than I knew about some kids I had classes with in College (Uni) or in high school (years 10-13).

When we were getting close to our destination to switch coaches. He mentioned that he was going to go buy a bottle of water and invited me along. I was so grateful for this because just before his offer I had realized I hadn’t purchased a bottle and was praying for the Lord to provide me an opportunity to get some water. So, I went with him to the grocery store we bought our water and then we headed to the station to find our next coaches.

He helped me find my coach and since mine would arrive before his would he sat with me and we talked some more.

The 30 minute wait flew by quickly and I said goodbye to Tom and got on my next hour and a half coach to Stansted airport.

When I arrived to the airport it was 10:00pm (2200). I was trying to find a place to sit and, also, plug my phone up to charge. Every place was filled. I found an opening on a bench and sat there watching my battery just die (22%).

The security to go through to the various gates didn’t open until 3 am (0300) so I would have to sit on a very uncomfortable bench for 5 hours.

30 minutes into my wait I met an Irish girl. We watched each others bags as we took turns to use the restroom and if we needed to get up and go for a walk to stretch our legs.

My flight was at 6:55 am (0655) and hers was at 6:20 am (0620). So we waited together in the crowded, cold, waiting area. I slept for about 40 minutes and she slept for more than that. I was curled up on the bench and she on the floor.

When it hit 3am we decided to just stick together. So we swapped names (Zelie was her name) and went through security together. When we got on the other side I followed her, as she showed me where outlets were.

We waited for 2 more hours together till 6, in this small restaurant, charging our phones (by the time I plugged my phone in it was 1%) and talked about so many things. We talked about our homes, showed them on maps. Added each other on Facebook. Talked about Ireland, I had a history lesson. The Presidential election. The education system. Food.

She said she was really missing potatoes which made me laugh.

Again, I knew more about this 18 year old Irish girl during our time just in the airport than people I “knew” back in the States.

Eventually, it came time for us to split and go to our separate planes. With that we said our farewells and went on our way.

From there I sat on the plane for 30 minutes and completely passed out. The plane took off and took 2 hours to get to Italy. When I arrived in Italy, I went through immigration and met up with Jim Spoto just outside the arrivals gate.

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I felt so blessed to have met 2 young people, my age, during my travels. Talking with them and learning about each of them made the time fly by quickly.

God definitely took care of me during this time by providing people who knew each area that I was in very well and with that they helped me out.

I am anticipating more adventures to come up while I am in Italy and to meet some incredible people during my Christmas break.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to talk to people.

A Few Stories From A Short Three Weeks

Flipflops v. Monkeys

Her brown eyes blazed as she pulled off her left flip-flop and jumped into action. Screaming at the top of her lungs, she ran toward the monkeys that had started to attack one of our leaders, Joce.
This moment right here will forever be imprinted in my mind. Two of my girl teammates and I were sitting outside in the nice Indian sun discussing our experience visiting the Hindu temples, when all of the sudden we were surrounded by monkeys (not cute monkeys, they were evil demon possessed monkeys). We were trying to ignore them so they would stop coming near us when one of our leaders walked by to go into our room. The monkeys turned from us and started to surround her. They wanted whatever it was that was in her hand. They started to bare their teeth and threaten her.
Maritza, from the States, didn’t even think twice she got up ripped off her flip-flop and charged toward Joce and the monkeys. She started swinging her flip flop around like some kind of sword. When the monkeys realized that she wasn’t a huge threaten they started to turn on her. That is when I started to scream, “RUN, MARITZA! RUN!” and simultaneously she started to scream “DAVID!” (He was our official leader and tour guide for India). David started to run toward us as some Indian ladies started to as well. The Indian ladies started to pick up stones and with extreme precision they hit the monkeys right on their heads. The monkeys started to scatter and since we were all relieved that Maritza and Joce were still alive we started to die of laughter.
Maritza had thought she could take on vicious monkeys with a flip-flop.

 

Awestruck, Surreal, and Scary

We drove up a windy half dirt, half rock road on our way to a distant village.
As we drove up to this village men and boys started to come out of their homes and come near us. At first i felt fear as they may not want us in their village, but then a smile played across all of their faces. They greeted us so warmly saying “chai” and “sit”. They gave us chai and some bread, both were delicious. We sat down and started to drink our chai along with the men and boys. One of the men spoke English very well and said that they have only ever had 5 other visitors to their village before. He then said that we should have a tour and took us to different homes to meet all of the families in the village. As we went along we saw so many faces and were greeted with so many smiles. At a few homes we stopped and had some water (We were told not to drink any of the tap water, especially from the villages, but we were urged by the people to drink so we did.) and more chai.
As we made our way around we saw some women sitting so Maritza, Sabrina, and I decided to sit with them. The women looked at us and smiled. One of the younger girls ran off and brought back more chai. We drank and didn’t speak only smiling at each other. The women only knew Hindi and we only know our mother tongue.
As we sat staring at each other I pointed at the main ladies earrings and said “pretty”. She pointed at mine and displayed a brighter face. I then pointed at her nose piercing and again said “pretty”, she pointed at my nose and with her eyes asked “why”. – In the Indian culture married women have their nose pierced, so with me being 18 and not married it was a surprise to her.
Our conversation went on like this. Pointing. Touching. Eyebrow Raising. Laughing. Smiling. I didn’t know you could connect with people so immensely without even speaking their language.
Our conversations were cut short as we were called to see more by the head elder. He then showed us to their temple. We walked inside took off our shoes and began to see where these people worship their gods. The man that spoke, pretty good English then asked if we wanted to pray. Maritza said “Sure, but our God is not the same as yours.” The man said “That is okay, pray to your God.” So she did. She prayed out loud for God to bless these people and for more Christians to come and speak to these people.
When she was done praying we continued to talk. One of the older men came to us with flowers and was giving them to us. – In the Indian culture they typically give flowers as offering to their gods. Which meant he didn’t understand our concept of prayer and was wanting us to give an offering. – We declined the flowers and the man that spoke some English said, “For you to pray.”
We replied, “We already have.”
The look on the mans face was shock and misunderstanding. He couldn’t comprehend how one could pray without giving a offering. The confusion then turned to frustration. The man then aggressively asked, “What have you done? What did you pray?”
Maritza said, “I prayed a blessing.”
He became agitated because he didn’t understand what blessing meant. He asked her and she said “Good things.”
He didn’t like that answer. David then stepped in and said “For your cows to have milk. For you to have a good harvest. For good health for your people.” The man still didn’t understand. Other men and young boys started to gather around, there was 15 all around. The thought that crossed my mind was, “I never made it to France. Here I am in India. I will be killed here as well.” I started to pray silently to God. “Please God, Please. Please God, Please. Help us.”
I opened my eyes and the man looked at me. Maritza standing beside me. I then answered, “Good things for your people. You have been good to us. We want good for you.” Maritza then repeated what was said, because the man only wanted the answer to his question from Maritza.
The man looked at us harshly. Then a smile sprung on his face. The atmosphere changed and in a split second everything was great again. He said he understood and insisted that we stay.
We told them we had to go and they walked us back to our car.
Some little girls walked beside me. I stuck out my hand and they grabbed it, loosely. Since there was about 6 girls following they each took turns holding my hands.
The moments in the village were precious. We learned a lot about ourselves and the Indian people while being there. I will never forget their beautiful smiles and them waving as we drove off.

Where am I? Where are you, Father?

I flip a switch and the hot water turns on. Putting a bucket under the focet I begin to fill up the bucket. After a few minutes I turn the tap off and begin to take a small cup and pour the water over my head. There is no tub or shower head. Just me, a bucket, a focet, four tiled walls, a door, a roof, toiletries, and a cup. With just this I am far more blessed than many other people in India. 

I didn’t know what it would be like coming here. I, like most people, have seen pictures of seen movies. India is so much like that, but being here being able to physically touch these people and make eye contact with them is so different. The thing that has devastated me the most this far is not seeing the poverty but having the young children walk up and touch me as they beg. When you see something you can ignore it but once those people, children and adults, touch you it makes it so much more real. Today as we were eating lunch in a park  

  three children came up to us. I was cleaning up after my teammates and the children gathered around me pointing to their mouths. We had some food left over which we had planned to give away. These children touched my feet then their forehead over and over again. This hurt my heart because their was nothing I could do. After we gave them the food we got up to leave and one of the young boys had snatched our water bottle that was unopened. I said “No” and tried to take it back but he wouldn’t let it go so here I stood feeling awful as I ripped the tiny fingers from the bottle and walked away. It is real.

Then I walk around seeing temples for gods and goddess of all kinds. At night as it gets dark you can hear their worship. I think “Where is my Father? Where is he?” These people are hungry. They are hungry even more than what their bodies crave. They desire something more in this life and they turn to these other things. I stand here and just watched. What can I say to someone who shares no common tongue? 

I shed some tears tonight thinking about India, because I would prefer to just look at the pictures and to not think that this isn’t real. That people are like this.  I want to tell that young boy that he wouldn’t have to thirst any more, I have good news, something that would satisfy much more than what his body said he needed but I couldn’t. 

India is beautiful. We are right on the edge of the Himilayan Mountains  

 
it is just stunning views. The people are so beautiful as well. They may stop and stare at us, being white among brown faces, but I just gaze at the woman in their beautiful clothing, perfectly braided hair, and jewelry. Like I said they stare. The men stare especially. The people see us and stop what they are doing to watch us. The people are very generous to us and want to help us with just little things. They want pictures of us. But then there are some that do not like us because of our skin and will turn away from us if we ask questions. 

I have done so much since being here and now know what I have is great. I have a loving Father and so many great people in my life as well as possessions.

I have observed so much in just two days. 19 more.  

  

He’s Still Working On Me

Development Training (DT) week.

The most emotionally and physically destructive week of my life.

I didnt think that would be the case. The week before people were so happy, Oh, you are going on DT next week., That was my favorite week., We really grew as a team that week. With statements like this I thought it would be more class work, but it wasnt. On Monday we hit the ground running literally.

We were thrust into a situation that none of us really understood we were given an objective and were told that we needed to complete it and in order to complete it we would have to endure different tasks and overcome them as a team.

Monday morning and afternoon, we spent the whole morning discussing the task and attending different meetings to understand the safety side of things. Around 10 oclock that night it was over. We had a reflection as a team, as our trainers sat in on our discussion. The trainers wrote down various things we said and was observing how we acted under pressure.

Around 11 oclock I jumped in the shower in our communal bathroom and started to wash my hair and to really reflect on the day from a personal stand point. As I was rinsing out my shampoo and just applying my conditioner, Sue (a fellow trainee) ran into the bathroom screaming for me to get out of the shower. Confused, with conditioner in my hair I jumped out of the shower, put on my bathrobe and ran upstairs to put on warm clothes. We had 5 minutes to get to the lake and our mission was to form a search party for a man who had broken his leg. This whole time, I was angry. Why would someone make us do this? Why now? Do they not know what time it is? There is still conditioner in my hair!!

After this challenge was over, I went back to the shower and finished up, as I was in the shower I started to sob. I started to question the purpose of this training. The purpose of evening being here. My fellow female trainees heard me crying and urged me to dry up and put on my pajamas. I did. In the bathroom they each held me in their arms telling me that this week was only temporary and that God would reveal the purpose soon. I was broken. I missed my bed, my home, my friends, my own shower, and my previous comforts. That night I was ready to drop everything and be on a plane back home, but by the encouragement of my peers I re-evaluated my purpose, and that is To go to France and to tell these lost and discouraged people about the joy and satisfaction of being in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The next few days after were easier, my team felt stronger and my faith was more firm. I did what I was told and pushed myself through every obstacle, which included hiking for a cumulative 20 km, abseiling, climbing, building and launching a rafting, mapping, backpacking, pitching a tent, and so much more.

Through all of this my team and I were being evaluated. Different quotes of ours were noted and at the end of the week were recanted to us in private discussions.

During my private discussion, I didnt speak much and only listened. They told me I was naturally servant-hearted and needed to be confident in myself. Hearing these two things made me die laughing on the inside.

For those who know me know this. I am a prideful person, I am bossy, and I have much of the dictator personality. My biggest struggle has always been being a servant. Ever since I was young I prayed that God would soften my prideful heart and make me more of a servant. I prayed he would make me more personable and kind.

With hearing this I laughed originally but later praised God, because this just proves his faithfulness. He has been working on me slowly but surely. He has been patient with me and now people see it. They see it. I may not feel it all the time, but God has been shaping me into his servant.

I learned this week that even at your lowest God raises you up. He puts people in your life to encourage you.

I, also, learned that he is faithful to his people. (This made me think of the song Hes Still Working on Me.“)

As I feel tired and miss my home, I am learning that God is enough and that he provides for his children. I am blessed through and by these challenges.
Continue to pray for me.

Seeing Things Clearly

Before I left the United States, I went to the eye doctor so he could prescribe me prescription lenses so that I could actually see things at a distance (i.e. Billboards, Road Signs, Speed limit signs, etc.). On Wednesday, September 23, I received a package in the mail with my brand new glasses. I was so excited to finally see the board and the beautiful hills in the distance clearly. Once I put them on I felt joy, I didn’t have to squint. I could experience things like everyone else could. No longer did I have to say, Sorry, I do not know what it says.”
I mention this not only because I want you to rejoice with me, but to tell you that I am starting to see the world more clearly. Every day I am slapped in the face with culture, differences, and uncertainty.
I wake up at 06:30 and it is freezing, absolutely cold. This is something I am not used to living in the hot climate of Florida. I do not want to get out of my not very warm bed and go down stairs to do my quiet time, but I do it. I roll out of bed put on my slippers and head down the stairs and start my day. When you are living in a community, it is hard to find time to myself, so that 30 – 45 minutes in the morning just to breathe my own air and be with God is so nice, it makes living in a cold climate easier.
There is no privacy living together. We cook together, have classes together, clean together, and overall are ALWAYS TOGETHER. The first 2 weeks it was fun. Don’t get me wrong it still is, but it is also hard. With this you learn about yourself and you learn about how you cope with others.
Today, I not only saw the world around me clearly, but I saw relationships clearly as well. The British have a strong sarcastic sense of humor, which isn’t bad, but for someone who is going through some culture shock it can be slightly offensive. I have been offended a few times this week by things that normally wouldn’t hurt me. I even took my British roommate, Hannah, for a walk to address some of my concerns, by the love of Christ she was understanding and receptive of my concerns.
World Horizons as a whole is very diverse in regards to culture, I live with British people, a French guy, a Mexican girl, A Texan, a guy from Alabama, and a Chinese woman. But it is not just that, I have classes with Koreans, Germans, Brazilians, and so many other cultures. I enjoy learning about all of our differences, but it can be overwhelming.
Luckily, though our classes consist of how to integrate in a culture, and today we discussed culture shock. I thought I was doing good until I looked at the range and realized that I was in the DISTRESS stage, which is when little things upset me or make me cry, that noting is like my home and makes me miss it that much more.
These challenges are making me to turn to God as my comfort and strengthen me during these endeavors without my comforts of home.
I miss my home, my family, my friends, my memories, etc.
Then again, I adore this place, these people, this community, these eye opening lessons, these experiences that are just full of Gods love, and the sun in between the rain.
Continue to keep me in your prayers

 

Most Embarrassing Moment Thus Far

2015-09-18 15.37.47

Every Friday and Sunday, Wil, a fellow Gapper from Alabama, and I go to our assigned church. This past Sunday and Friday were our 1st times.
On Sunday, we had a great experience with a church called Emanuel and Bethansia, which is a Welsh and English speaking combined church. Sunday’s the congregation is mostly filled with people older that 50 and on Fridays there is a Children’s Church kind of affair where the kids do various activities and have to opportunity to learn some bible stories.
Well, yesterday was mine and Wils first time going, we were dropped off by our leaders and left wondering “where do we meet with the pastor and his family?” As we watch them drive off to go tour a chapel, Wil and I realize that we have no idea what we are doing or where we are supposed to meet.
So we try the front door, LOCKED.
We try a side door, LOCKED.
We try the other side door, LOCKED.
With that we see that their is a building attached to the church so I decide that we should check it out.
We walk to the front of the door and it is slightly ajar. So I think, “Oh they left the door open for us so that we would know where to go.”
I open the door and am the first person to step inside, I regret my decision as soon as it happens. I see stairs, the washer machines, a couch. Then I see a older man sitting on said couch staring at me like “who the heck are you?” I feel Wil try to push me inside more, as I attempt to retreat.
The only thing that comes out of my mouth… “Is this the church?” I knew it wasn’t but I didn’t know what else to do.
He looks at me like “heck no.” And says “this is my house. the church is next door.”
I smile and push wil out the door.
I am trying to rationalize this but all I am doing is laughing.
I had just walked into a mans house in a country that I am not even close to familiar with, what can possibly be more embarrassing than that.

Later, that evening when everyone was back at our house after their out reaches, I tell them the story.
Everyone dies. The Americans laugh, the Mexican girl is hysterical, the British people practically fall on the floor, and the French guy just stares at me like “Oh my gosh, who would do that.”

So needless to say, this is one of the many mistakes I have made since being here. More stories to come.

 

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