So week two is swiftly drawing to a close and this is what I have to say. This is life, this call isn’t glamorous. It isn’t a constant high. It is real life. It is normal life, just in a different place. Being a missionary isn’t about flying across an ocean; it is about what you do with the time you have. It is about your focus.
This isn’t glamorous. It is just real. Yes, I love taking the bus, and having humorous taxi rides. I like adventuring, going to new restaurants and cafes, taking pictures, and meeting all sorts of other foreigners with similar passions.
Yeah I see weird foods (and avoid them), I have to use the occasional squatty potty (that really doesn’t faze me at all), and the language barrier makes for a lot of awkward laughs and some frustration. Also, I think I know exactly how the little frog in Frogger feels. No joke. The only difference is that I control myself, it might be better if someone had a bird’s eye view and was controlling me from a giant Gameboy when trying to cross a Chinese street.
As amazing as it is to see God’s grace and favor displayed in powerful ways, it is also scary to think that your friend could get fined or kicked out of the country because their visa was expired for a few days.
This life is real. The people here are real. The spiritual warfare here is real. The bondage from Buddhism, Islam, spiritism, and other cultural things is real. The people begging on the side of the road, they are real. The kids both happy and sad, well provided for and needy are real. The smells are real. Difficulties with the internet are real. The struggles of being a foreigner and being part of a foreign family trying to do ministry here, all of it, every part of life… it is real.
It is real, and it is not glamorous.
BUT…. Real is better than glamorous. Real is more rewarding. I don’t know what the rewards from this summer will be. I have no idea what all I am going to walk away from this summer with, but I know that what I am experiencing is real life and not a temporary high. To be honest I am not on a high at all and that is something that I am actually very glad about.
My heart is beginning to break. I see these people and I pray for them more every day. BUT I can’t do anything about it. I wish I could talk to them… I am here, but I can’t talk to them, all I can do right now is pray as I see them in the bus and on the sidewalk and all around me. It is starting to be a little heart wrenching… I just want to be able to see the word of Is. 9:2 come to pass here “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has a light dawned.” And as selfish as it is, I want to be the one who’s feet are beautiful because they bring the Good News.
But I am learning a different lesson right now. I am learning that this life is about resting in God and serving in a way that you are a blessing to others. It is about smiling at people in the street, distracting fussing kids, helping old ladies across the street, and praying. This life is about blessing and supporting those around you.
This life is real. The only glamorous parts are when God says to hide in the rock and look upon His glory as He passes by (Ex 33:17-34:7). The only glamorous part is God.