Those transition moments

It’s been one month since I returned to the US of A so I thought I’d share with you some of those moments I’ve had as I continue to transition and mentally adjust to living back in my passport country.

  • I have an irrational fondness for and amount of blankets and jackets for a person who lives in the sub-tropics.
  • Radio streaming!
  • Moving back and unpacking is a perfect time for cleaning the closet – getting rid of clothes that don’t fit, you wouldn’t wear again, are out of style….
  • I enjoy self-flushing toilets….and toilets are shorter in the US for anyone who wants to know.
  • Apparently one does not get rid of winter clothes when one lives in the tropics as they’re too hard to find and purchase when one needs them (I’m discovering an inordinate amount of gloves and scarves)
  • Re-learning that I can watch videos online
  • For someone who wears flip-flops as much as she can, I have enough socks to supply a small army
  • My room is like a pirate treasure hunt, discovering the things my mom has hidden in my room over the past two years.
  • I’m still slightly weirded out when I use tap water
  • Not having to soak veggies and fruits in a bleach/water solution for ½ hour is still a hiccup in my thinking.
  • I can eat fresh, uncooked food at restaurants and not worry about getting super sick afterwards.

Yeah, those are only a few but sometimes they seem big. I’ve also learned that getting away from everything I have to “do” and, while still working, I can also relax – my brain has freely processed. Still lots of questions, but a lot more peace. 🙂

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Finding completion

Since I’ve been back in the USA I’ve had lots of questions that either I struggle to answer or just have to tell the person to pick a different question as I didn’t have an answer or couldn’t emotionally handle the answer or just hadn’t processed through it enough.

Today at church someone asked me if I was back because my time of serving overseas was complete. It was one of those questions I didn’t know how to answer because I didn’t feel like my time was necessarily complete yet I knew my option to stay had ended. I had expected to be overseas and in Africa for several more years and felt like I had just arrived on the continent.

One of the ladies standing there, who is also my friend, saw the look on my face (not sure if it was consternation or signaled the distress in my spirit) and answered for me. Very deliberately she spoke looking at me and answered what I also needed to hear – “Your time serving in Ethiopia is complete.” In that moment she spoke truth into my life and brought me one step closer to healing and processing. Truly, my time living in Africa is complete because God clearly deemed it so. Though I may feel like it wasn’t for a variety of reasons, I can see His plan and know that He brought me off a continent that has taken me through many ups and downs.

So while my role and work continue in the exact same realm, I will not be living on that continent any more and my time there is complete. No matter what I feel, no matter my opinion, God decided my time there was complete and took me away. It’s not easy to accept, but I am learning. Each day is a new step towards healing and rehydrating my soul that has long been in drought.

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Paying the price of Home

travel leads to never homeRecently I discovered a site called Girl Gone International that has some good quotes that are applicable to my life. The one that I’ve been pondering lately is this one in the graphic – never being completely at home because my heart will always be elsewhere. That’s the price I pay for the richness of knowing and loving people in more than one place.

Just before I went to Kenya, three weeks ago now, I discovered that the visa laws in my current home country have changed. While I might be able to obtain a six month visa (but I could also be granted only one or three months), it seems I would only be allowed 30 days per entry. That really makes living and trying to settle somewhere to learn the language well enough and build good relationships a moot point.

With all the cultural stresses I’ve been dealing with lately and with this addition, I’m heading back to my passport country. It was a fast decision as I had meetings planned in the USA already so it worked to buy a one-way ticket as my current visa will expire two weeks after those meetings.  So now I’m in the throws of packing, saying goodbyes, grieving, and trying to process….all while helping my housemate prepare for her wedding – the same day I leave.

So while I will be away from my current cultural stresses (yet gaining new ones going back to my passport country) there is still the unknown of where I’ll live next, where will ‘home’ be next? I’m homeless. Technically, I have a home with my family for the next several months but how do I dig in and put down some roots to keep me stable, from wandering off, when I know that’s not where I’ll stay and I have to look to the future?

It’s the living in limbo; always living out of a suitcase; not knowing whether to dig in deep and grieve deep later; or wait and just skim the surface so I don’t hurt as deeply when I leave. How does one live in transition with no solid footing? It’s the life of a wanderer who has yet to find someone who can help be an anchor and a “home” despite not having a house.

So before you judge and say “Oh, you love traveling because you wouldn’t do it otherwise.” or think that it’s easy or fun or all an awesome adventure…know that under this smiling face is someone who also grieves daily for all the friends she’s met and will never see again on this earth. I’ve tasted Heaven’s glories here on earth because of those friendships but live in a continual fast of them.

I don’t do this for the travel or adventure. I do this because I am being faithful and obedient in what I am asked of by my Heavenly Father. It is not easy. Sometimes finding the me who I truly am is hard (she’s been gone for a while actually and only has recently started to return). Sometimes I wish for a companion I didn’t have to say goodbye to so I didn’t have to do this all alone. I’ve learned to adapt and adjust, but even the most adaptable reach their limits. With nearly ten years of this lifestyle I’m reaching mine.

So, when you see me next, give me a hug and and let’s talk life and catch up. I cherish friendships and meaningful conversations because they tend to be fleeting in mine. You can help me find a little solid ground in a life that feels in constant motion.

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Not Just Another Blog Post Against Yoga Pants

Great thoughts and perspective on modesty – let’s respect each other and treat each other as God created us.

hey sarah beth

I would like to preface what I am about to write by saying that I almost didn’t write it, mainly out of a fear of being misunderstood. I am not writing this from a place of judgment, harshness, or rebellion so please do not hear or read that kind of tone in my words. I am not trying to stir the proverbial pot. I am simply offering perspective, something I think you can never have too much of. It’s a perspective I didn’t realize so many women, girls, and even men shared until I started having conversations about it. I am writing with an open heart. Please read on with an open heart.

Quite often on my Facebook news feed I see blog posts and articles shared on the topic of modesty. Every time, I get the same sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and for a while I ignored…

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Wandering the desert, waiting for the dawn.

The first of the year for most people draws them to make resolutions; to turn over a new leaf; to focus on becoming a better person. It’s like an energy boost that gives clarity and focus, but, unfortunately, does not maintain itself on its own. That, my dear friends, is what we forget – that we must find ways to sustain and continue to feed that motivation.

Like so many, this first day of the year has brought the feeling of a fresh chapter in life; a chance to start anew. Yet, at the same time, I am walking through a desert and see no oasis. I feel no refreshing wind that lifts the spirit and urges me to keep pressing on with enthusiasm and joy. It is still the dark of the night, waiting for that first glimmer of dawn before the sun breaks forth.

I suppose my current “career” in life has an added pressure as many people often look up to me, seeing me as some sort of “hero of the Faith” when I am nothing but an ordinary woman serving obediently and faithfully in what I feel God has called me to – just like so many of you in what you see as “ordinary” jobs. We are no different, you and I. But because of being on a pedestal (that I try desperately to climb off of) it makes it so much harder to be honest and state “I am just like you, I go through dry times as well. Help!”

If only you could see my hand-drawn art on the walls of my room, reminding me that I am walking the desert with Much-Afraid and learning to be the flower “Acceptance with Joy.” The verses declaring that “hope deferred makes the heart sick” and a page full of stresses that is not equally countered with blessings and hope. (Or the trash bin filled with tissue.)

But in this period of waiting, this silence from God, this despair of hope, this pain of loneliness, this darkness that seems sometimes overbearing, my little flame of a candle flickers. In the midst of my doubts and Satan’s lies (does God really exist? did He ever really talk to me? am I really doing what I am supposed to be doing?) I find myself clinging to the little truths and hopes from times past. Yes, I’m a practical and tactile girl who struggles immensely when God is quiet and I don’t feel or see Him.

But instead of regressing into depression and condemnation – avoiding spending time with God because I feel guilty of my doubts and struggles – I remember the truth from the last time and claim that “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” God does not see me as I see myself. He sees me through my Savior Jesus Christ and loves me with an everlasting love.

Yes, I still find myself reading Scripture out of duty and struggling to get through it. To be honest, I started reading through the Bible chronologically last year and I’m still in the month of September! But I don’t let my failure keep me from it (some days, yes) and I push through. I desperately want to feel God’s presence and be filled with His joy again so I remind myself to meet Him in the ways I know how. Lately, my prayers end with me crying and wondering where God is despite my efforts.

Yet, despite everything (including my doubts), I know deep down within my soul that He exists; that He loves me; and that this season of dryness and feeling the lack of His presence will end. I’ve walked this road before and know it’s not forever (though it seems like it!).

Some days all I can see is the dark of night, the cold of being alone. Some days I rely on the prayers of others who lift me up when I cannot utter any myself. Some days, when my words tumble over themselves and my R’s turn to W’s, I cling to that piece of childlike faith and miracle from my childhood – He does answer my prayers or I wouldn’t be able to say R at all. Some days I pull out my Rhema journal and I read back through all the truths I have written down; Scripture that has touched my soul and revived me in the past. Some days I just sit and cry.

So while right now I walk Psalm 38, I know that Psalm 40 is waiting for me. I take up my darkness like a mantle and walk towards the light. As I seek the Almighty’s presence I learn more about prayer (focus for this new year – join me!) and try to learn about silence. I follow in the steps of Abraham, Job, David, and even Jesus himself. And I walk alongside those of you who suffer through the same. But let us not suffer alone, let us join together because God made us for community and it is in community we are able to grow and find strength when ours fails.

God is our help and our deliverer. He is our God, oh do not delay! (Psalm 40:17)

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Rootless wanderings

I’ve been in a “funk” the past few months that crescendoed like one of Beethoven’s symphonies and crashed like Niagara Falls. (Yes, I’m going for epic descriptions right now). As I’ve processed and pondered why I’ve reached this point I’ve come up with some reasons.

1) Over the last 9 ½ years I’ve been constantly traveling I realize. Only in 2009 did I travel the least with maybe only a couple of trips that year. Otherwise it’s been every month trips (or multiple in a month) to every other month trips pretty much for the past 9 ½ years. What?!

2) In those 9 ½ years I’ve moved to South America where I had three homes, the USA where I had two homes, then Africa where I’m constantly traveling and have yet to make a home. Living out of suitcases for this amount of time is wearying.

3) My roots are always being pulled up. And I don’t mean roots as in a house and physical location necessarily (though it is a part I suppose). When I say roots I mean people. I build community and finally get it established after 2-3 years and then I say good-bye and move to a new country/continent. That community usually then disbands or fades away with only a few that stay.

4) I’m single so I don’t carry home with me nor do I have one to go back to when I’m done with my trip like marrieds have. Yes, there are great advantages in that I can up and change and travel because there’s only me to think about. But it’s not healthy to have that constant lifestyle and not have a community. Sure, I have false community like Facebook and somewhat community through texting and emailing. But face to face community is hard to build when you’re never there. (I get told “You’ve been lost” a lot!)

So, what’s my advice right now? Besides setting good boundaries (Which I do, ask anyone who knows me), take a moment to evaluate your life:

What do you need to build sustainability in your lifestyle of serving? Is it a place you can call home and settle and build while traveling out from there?

Who are your friends that are proactive in staying in touch, not you being the one to always initiate?  How do you build those relationships and hang on to them?

If God’s made you a certain way and given you certain desires, are you in a place where those can be met and you can grow in that?

How are you staying filled so that you’re not “pouring out of an empty teapot”? How are you spiritually feeding yourself? How are you emotionally feeding yourself? How are you getting away and resting from your labors?

And if you’re like me (young female) and you “glow” as you walk the streets, how are you getting away from the sexual harassment you’re facing? Yeah, it may roll off you but trust me, eventually it starts to stick. Where is your safe recovery place so you can face going out of your house again?

There’s so much more to process and that I could write, but….That’s all for now, Folks!

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Injustice

Most of my news information from the US comes from my Facebook feed. It tells me who’s playing (and winning/losing) in sports, what the weather is like, and about social issues. It’s a weird, disconnected way to stay connected to my home country.

That, my readers, is often the extent of my information as getting access to news sites and videos when one lives overseas and has very limited internet is challenging. And to be honest? Sometimes it hurts too much to dig into the facts because your life is so “grey” colored that lines don’t exist in your life and you can only find one side or the other.

As I watch my news feed blow up with comments about what is happening in Ferguson and my friends’ reactions, my heart hurts and my head is confused. Why? I don’t have the facts to know what truly happened; I know that racism still is a big issue; I know that when we attack each other we become defensive and loose compassion.

Add to all that, I tend to see life differently. Usually in meetings I am the one who tends to see what others don’t see; to point out when they’re missing a point in what they’re saying. When Florida had the Zimmerman case, there was a big “brouhaha” as well. Again, I was in the middle seeing what others weren’t seeing because of their hurt, anger, and hate.

Again, I stand in the middle of opinions and weep. I weep at the anger and violence that have come, instead of striving for peace and understanding and justice in the midst of pain. I imagine the anguish of having both lost and having taken the life of a precious human being. I grieve because sides have been drawn, stereotypes brought up, and people and living in unity is ignored.

I have friends who are police officers, who put their lines on the line every day for our sake, who know what it is like when put in challenging situations as this. I have friends whose skin color is not as light as mine who face prejudices and challenges every day because of what we’ve been taught.

Add to this, I live in a world where I am the one who stands out, who pays the higher price because of who I am, where harassment rules because of my skin color and gender – an insight into an everyday world for some people.

So, as I stand in the middle and see not color, not culture, not stereotypes but people – I ask myself “How do we heal?” There is only one Healer who gives us the courage to stand up for truth in peace. And it is there I start to find a beginning.

How about instead of judging people on personality and outside qualities, we start teaching principles to our children. We start with character and the heart. We start with seeing people and the value of people (from before birth to the time of death). We teach to respect culture and to live in harmony. Let’s teach good work ethic and the satisfaction of giving your best.

Perhaps if we did not see and treat people based on their skin color, dress, or gender, the world might start to be a better place.

Let’s not squander our privilege (whatever that may be for you), because the truth is – if you live in the United States of America you are privileged no matter what others try to tell you.

And before you leave an angry rant, please know that know that this doesn’t solve everything nor do I understand everything. This is just me processing and realizing that there is much hurt and there is much mistreatment and much injustice. I’m saying we find the facts and not react; that we find a way to change for the better…and even in that, we find peace and the ability to love people and value life.

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The glories of travel

It’s already dark when I drag my bags down three flights of stairs, across the cobblestone road and to my waiting taxi. So begins yet another journey along with my wonderings of “Why do people think travel is so great?”

The airport has changed (once again) as I struggle to push a cart half my weight up a steep slope. As I pass through the checks and pat downs, the one little highlight is the little silver card I carry with me. What few privileges it does allow are welcomed – a quiet respite away from the others travelers who drag chairs to better locations and shop because there is nothing else to do while waiting in the terminal that feels like a corral for cattle.

From the corral of milling people we’re herded into tiny chutes to be screened once again. With the little silver card in hand I take advantage of the last privilege it gives and head first onto the airplane.

Soon, I find myself being hurtled through the sky in a metal tube. But the fast speed begins to decrease to the pace of a tired, worn out turtle as I doze for the next seventeen hours. Seventeen hours of sitting in a tiny, uncomfortable chair; of listening to the chorus of screams from children as tired of being locked in as much as I am.

While being locked in, chasing the light in this metal tube in the sky, the attendants start to force feed us – chicken and rice, rice and chicken, some dry bread. They take their duty seriously to make sure we’re well fed and read for the next corral.

Soon, I discover that the light we’ve been chasing has outrun us and snuck up behind us. Instead of dark, I see the cotton swirled clouds and wonder what is underneath. The map on the wall, who’s goal is to maintain some of our sanity in this tube in the sky, declares we’re over the site of the Titanic. Well, at least I find some education as I always thought she sunk farther out to sea.

As the light catches us by the tail, I discover that we have not outrun Jack Frost. He’s been to visit me and painted crystals for my enjoyment. The light that has been playing hide and seek as it tries to catch us soon illuminates the crystals which sparkle like tiny diamonds. A small piece of wonder to maintain my sanity.

We skim the world between the clouds as we finally reach land. Clouds above, clouds below. As we hover between this netherworld, the earth below slowly stirs to life, unaware of our silent observation of their minuscule world.

Finally comes the arrival and the slow, glorious release to freedom….of yet another airport while awaiting yet another flight.

When people say they love to travel I have two thoughts. One is that they’ve never traveled or rarely travel, unlike me who lives out of suitcases. The second is that they mean they love arriving at their destination, ready to explore. Because who in their right mind enjoys being packed like sardines into a metal tube, hurled across the skies, and unable to move for who knows how many hours.

No, it’s the destination that excites us. It is not the air or bus travel that is the excitement of the journey (unless one is walking or driving a private car). It’s the freedom to explore, make memories, meet new people, try new foods, and step into another culture when one is finally touching glorious land, free from the entrapment a of metal tubular walls.

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Finding Wholeness

I sat on my porch drinking Kenyan “shai” while pondering life and what I was reading. Well, more specifically, pondering the freedom I’ve found in Christ and how cultures and travels have effected that. It’s a topic that’s been coming to mind the past several weeks based on questions I’ve been asked or conversations I’ve had about dancing, drinking, and other sometimes culturally “taboo” customs.

Growing up, I had the opportunity to be exposed to and start to follow in the dangerous path of legalism. It became easy for me to follow rules and not question; to judge others’ actions according to my rules and not by Scripture…or what I thought Scripture said.

It has taken years to pull out that dangerous weed of legalism, and I still find it hiding in the shadows. Isaiah 28:9-13 speaks to how legalism is not God’s way and is actually a trap to fall backwards and be injured by. So true! How many times have I seen it injure relationships because of how I pre-judge someone? How many times has it kept me from talking with someone, listening and being light and sharing hope?

As I’ve traveled around the world and seen Christ’s Church, I have been exposed to what heaven will be like. And in those travels, I’ve also learned more about freedom and truly following the Savior no matter the cost. I’ve also learned what Paul says in Romans 14 to not be the rock in the way that someone stumbles over but become like the people so that there is unity for mutual edification.

Does that mean I become a hypocrite because I hide who I truly am? No, it means I willingly deny myself freedoms in order to be a witness; to show that there is both freedom in Christ yet grace for those still growing and learning. Some people have rules because culture dictates, others because of their family or personal history. That is their decision.

So, I honor their decisions and don’t flaunt my own, respecting theirs and adapting to help them on their own journey. When asked, I share the freedom Christ has given me in my own decisions although weighing how much I share depending on where they are in their beliefs.

I have found wholeness from other cultural influences, to not just have an American view of Christianity but a broader scope of what Scripture teaches; to understand deeper what it means to deny myself – all for His Glory!

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Dear single person,….

You are about to embark upon an adventure as you prepare to serve overseas in God’s big, beautiful world. Nine years ago I was standing where you were, preparing for the unknown. When I was preparing, there seemed to be little resources available to me as a single in what I might expect. Now, thanks to the internet and blogging there is so much more! (Check out John Gunter’s series on Singleness for one good read.)

About six years ago I asked other singles (or those who had served as singles but had since married) what they would share with other singles preparing to go for the first time. About six months ago I was asked by a reader to share those tips here. So here I go!

Prepare Yourself by Researching.

Life in each country is different, obviously. While it may seem a grand adventure to just jump in, save yourself some heart-ache and do some research into culture, language, food, availability of items, and what life is like for a single male or female. This includes internet research as well as asking someone who’s been there – also helps you to start networking which is important once you get there.

Find out what limitations there might be for a single, especially if you’re a woman. What areas are safe; can you go out alone; do you need to be accompanied; what is culturally appropriate to wear… All of this also helps with preparing for packing so you don’t take tank tops when that is absolutely taboo! (But take one, you might take a trip where they’re ok and wish you had one.)

 

Be Intentional.

Life is hard when you’re away from your community and internet limits your conversations with them. You’re also stepping into the front lines of battle if you’re going to serve and you can’t slack off or expect what has gotten you through in the past to help you now. Why? Those same things that got you through most likely won’t be there – church will be in another language; you won’t have those close, deep friendships as you’re building new ones; and you might just be in an area where there are no ex-pats and you have to start with learning the language to build relationships…and they might not be of the same faith. Or, your internet (if you have it) is too poor to download podcasts or chat with friends back home.

So, find ways to take a few books or CDs that you can re-read or listen to often – a classic devotional, sermons on CD/computer, a reading plan for extra help…and remember, while having an e-reader is awesome, it’s still nice to have some hard copies of things. I have a small copy of My Utmost for His Highest that I’ve been enjoying.

travel_never completely at homeTeamwork.

Hate to break it to you, but if you’re going as a single most likely you don’t get to pick your teammate. If you’re not working in a team, you’ll still not be able to pick who you work with. There is also a very high probability you’ll be working in a cross-cultural team which means your norms for communicating, directing, sharing, etc…will have to change. Be willing to give up your “rights” and/or cultural expectations so that unity can be maintained. You’ll be amazed at what you learn. Plus, as you slowly adapt to another culture and find out that it’s not “wrong” just “different”, you might even decide to adopt those things into your own life!

Remember, it’s important to communicate. What was that? Communicate! If things still aren’t working out, don’t be afraid to ask someone to “translate” or be the mediator for you. (In some cultures, you have to do this anyway to be culturally appropriate). When my South American teammate and I had a big spat, we asked our pastor to intervene. He had experience with American culture and was South American himself so he could help us see what the other was saying, not what we were hearing. Remember, most likely something wasn’t intentional so have grace and try to assume the best.

Be Accountable.

Honestly, this is something I struggle with no matter where I am. Sometimes it’s a chosen person with whom I feel safe to talk to and share my heart. Sometimes it’s the silent example of my housemate that helps me to keep regular devotion times. But have someone who you can go to when you’re struggling so you don’t keep it bottle up inside. Have someone you can share your struggles with and who is willing to slap you when needed to get you back on track (thanks sis!).

Mother Teresa Not successful but Faithful

This also includes the non-spiritual side for when you go out. Make sure someone knows where you’re going. Have a back up plan. Don’t just wander off on your own. Trust local knowledge and ask for it, as well as respect it. If the guys we work with tell us not to go out at night or go to a certain area by ourselves we don’t. They know best. Remember, you stand out!

Define Boundaries.

It’s ok to say “No.” Say it with me – No. Yes, you may think you have it easier as a single, you have more free time, you can do more….especially because there will be marrieds (and unmarrieds) who say you can and assume so because you don’t have a family to take care of. In actuality, it’s not true. You have to go shopping by yourself; figure out the transportation system by yourself. All by yourself with no one home to clean or cook or whatever while you’re out. Life overseas just takes longer.

Be available though, to families who ask for help. They need you just as much as you need them and the feeling of being a part of family is wonderful. However, set your boundaries as well so you’re not always being asked to babysit because “you must be free.” Decide how often you’ll help and don’t feel bad. But remember, it’s part of community so dig in and build some roots.

And another note: Work hard, but play hard too. Most people serving set a very bad example of boundaries. It’s so very easy to feel bad about not giving your all and working late hours and weekends because “It’s for God.” God also took time to rest. If you become a workaholic, you’ll burn yourself out and be useless and find yourself back in your home country quicker than you thought. Figure out what you can do to give all while staying healthy – physically, emotionally, and mentally. You just may need to figure out new ways to de-stress and have fun that are acceptable in your new culture, but do it!

Connect.

Life is about relationships, so take the time to build them. Don’t feel bad about not working as much those first few months because you have to build relationships in order to do more than survive. Relationships are how you learn the language and culture. And for that “duh!” moment – you’re there to serve people, not a time clock. So remember, it’s ok to set things aside because someone stopped by to say “Hi.” My housemate and I did this the other day (for probably about five hours) as we sat and chatted and played games with one of the evangelism team that stopped by our house while he was in town. It’s. O.K!

And don’t just build relationships within the ex-pat community. Find the nationals and build true friendships there. I’ve been so blessed and amazed by my friendships around the world. I honestly probably lacked a little on the side of building friendships with the ex-pats, but what I’ve learned about culture and how I’ve changed (for the better!) as a person because I integrated myself into the local community….You’ll find you have family.

Quote James Michener If you reject..stay at homeIf you’re working in a teammate situation, build friendships apart from those with your teammate. You’ll need time apart, and that’s perfectly okay. But also have common friendships.

Oh, for the gals: be aware of friendships with local guys. While it may seem ok, it’s easy for things to go the wrong way. Find out what’s culturally appropriate as you don’t want to send the wrong message. One idea as well is to invest in a set of rings and keep your “status” private. It can help ward off unwanted advances.

Final Thoughts.

Ultimately, don’t be afraid to go on this adventure alone. If you’re a single female this is probably less of a problem as we seem to have more gumption in doing it alone than the guys do. (Guys, get it together if you haven’t already and quit waiting for a companion before you’re obedient.) Yes, God may bring someone along the way to join in your adventure. But then again, He may not. Either way, be faithful and obedient in His telling you to “Go.”

And don’t do this “because I’ve always wanted to travel.” Having touched every inhabitable continent and spent more time on airplanes than at home, travel gets old fast. It becomes yet another hotel bed, another plane/bus/taxi…and when you don’t have someone to share it with, it’s even harder. Do it because you’re sure this is what God wants you to do. Because when the tough gets ridiculously hard, that is what will keep you going – not the excitement to see another destination.

For the final conclusion, I want to share a quote with you that I found quite true. You will grow in your understanding of the world, but more importantly about Christ, as you see who God is in different communities. You won’t ever be the same and you’ll have a freedom in and understanding of Christ that many others won’t have.

travel Mark Twain quote

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