Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I never thought I would ...

... hike these ridiculous cliffs in Greece and, once up there, hike some more: monastery-hopping
... get a very thorough scrub down from a Turkish grandma--with Elly
... learn a little German via Austrian TV. Thank you ORF, and your constant Simpsons reruns
... film an homage to the "Czech brothers" SNL sketch with a bunch of wild and crazy missionaries
... attempt to teach the Trinity in the last five minutes of class, only to have my students call me on it with fantastic questions, like: "If Jesus is part of God and God is one, why does Jesus say, "My God, why have you forsaken me?"

... meet a wonderful family from Ecuador at a bus stop in Assisi, and end up spending a good part of the day with them in Florence.
... fall in love with the heart of Europe
... take Auds and Curt to the finest gluten-free pizza restaurant in Bratislava
... chaperone a youth trip to a conference in the Hague and end up keeping (and now, packing) my notes from the sermons--seriously good theology
... preside at communion for the first time from an ironing board in eastern Slovakia
... laugh so much with my internship committee and my supervisor
... preach a bilingual sermon on the Great Commission in the village of Háj
... face some of my worst fears--ones I didn't even know I had--realize how much I need God's help, and the help of the Body of Christ ... and come out OK

I think Sean and I both knew we were in for an adventure a year ago, getting antsy at the Summer Missionary Conference ... both ready to go and not at all ready to go. We guessed that we would come to love Slovakia and the people we work with, here. Ultimately, we were always just long-term visitors here: called to be partners, but also to remain outsiders. And yet ... we've become more invested than the average visitor, more at home than the word "outsider" implies.

Sunday will be my last service at BIC--David and Carla left for the US this morning, and I woke up with a strong sense of loss (and then went back to bed.) We are packing and getting ready to go, but not in a particularly stressed out way. Keep us, and the many, many missionaries in transition right now, in your prayers.

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