“OK – now go out and make a friend!” And with that, Buttercup (our city leader), sent all of K-town’s teams out to their respective campuses to befriend a college student. It was only our third day in the country, and I was definitely intimidated.
“Just walk onto a strange campus where I don’t speak the language and make a friend?” I thought. “Crazy.”
But that was our assignment, so Leonidus (my partner) and I headed out. A few awkward “Hello! Do you speak English?” questions and blank stares later told me that I can’t communicate with many people here. Saying hello to random strangers is definitely out of my comfort zone, and I was getting discouraged pretty quickly.
But then I heard a friendly “Hello!” from behind me and turned to see a smiling college student. It turns out he’s from a different part of Asia and likes to throw Frisbee (even cooler). In no time we’re tossing the disc around on the soccer field and chatting as best we can. It turns out that his English is not very good, but we had a good time hanging out, and it was a great connection right when we were getting discouraged. It was awesome to see God provide in that way, and He has been faithful to give us a number of other new friends in the days since then!
We’re getting settled into life here in Asia, and it’s been a crazy week and a half. We have an apartment literally next door to our campuses, which is a great location, and I’m diving right into language study. Would you please lift up a few things for me?
1) Our leaders. They are awesome men and women of God, and they are working hard all day long to find apartments, get them furnished, show us the campuses, line up language lessons, hold meetings, show us newbies around, and all the while, they need to keep themselves rested and healthy. It’s a hard job, and please ask for a great grace to be on them as they run hard in these initial days.
2) I’ve been sick for the last 24 hours or so. I’ve had worse, but it’s no fun to not really know how to take care of myself in a place like this. I feel like I’m on the mend, but please think of all of us while we adjust to different schedules, foods, and a whole new way of living. It’s a challenge!
Thank you so much – you’re part of a great work over here! Your thoughts and support mean the world to me!