I have a great friend who lives in Africa. In fact, she along with her family moved there just two months before we landed in China. I absolutely love chatting with her! She is the kind of person you call and end up chatting with for hours on end. What makes our relationship a little unique from some of my other friends is that we have been on the same time line for a while now. We traveled the U.S at the same time, left for another part of the world around the same time, started language school, we were even pregnant with both of our babies at the same time. Our families are in sync to say the least! haha

Last night my friend and I had the opportunity to chat for the first time in a long time. We talked about  how the end of our first year on the field was fast approaching and shared a few things we had learned about ourselves, our devotional lives, life on the field, and living in a “closed” country in general. We also talked about how we felt about our language ability after 7 or 8 months of study. Surprisingly, we felt we had learned many of the same things and had mutual feelings about a great deal of the subjects in our conversation.

It was after this chat with my friend, that a simple thought entered into my mind. I thought these are probably the things I should be writing about.

I am always wondering what exactly I should or shouldn’t be writing about on this blog anyways. I really want this blog to be a mess of everything that’s me, my family, the ministry I am in and most of all my Savior. So, that means I have to write more often  and on a mess of different subjects.

So, one subject I hope to write several blogs on here over the next couple of weeks is: Differences.

Something that my friend and I both came to agree on is that: Almost NO country is EXACTLY the same.

As, a missionary wife I catch myself getting jealous of other families thinking…

“well their city or country is easier on SO many levels!!”

or mad thinking…

“what in the world do they have to complain about…they have no idea

I’ve also had thoughts like

“China is SO much easier than that country…I could never deal with that.”

This is all wrong. Every country has its hardships. Every country has something that’s better than somewhere else. There’s always someone who has it worse and someone who has it better…even in America. That’s life.

But…

What do we all have in common no matter where we are that will help us overcome the obstacles?

Christ. A stronger relationship with Christ will help us overcome.

What I need to know is:

  • There will be obstacles.
  • I will experience great stress in learning the culture and language of ANY country God takes our family to.
  • If I’m working in “closed” countries, I may never know what tomorrow will hold or how long we will be able to stay there. (This holds true even in “open” countries)

But, we know God has a purpose. He sent us to our country for a reason, and we just have to trust Him. We have to recognize when the culture shock consumes us, when all the DIFFERENCES seem to hard to deal with, and we have to crush those thoughts…those feelings….the anger, the hurt, the jealousy, the fear, loneliness and depression…and seek a stronger relationship with our Lord. My husband seems to always remember these things, but I battle daily! (Like today..daily…just ask him 🙂 )

So, I want to write about the Differences. This includes: some of the things our family has had to get used to since moving here, how badly I’ve dealt with some of the things, and how learning from other missionary wives during our training at our home church helped me see others as not a big deal.

Because

Every country is different. period.

What do you think? Are you interested?


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