We just finished four full days of language and culture learning. Oh man… I was dreading this summit. My only experience with learning a language involves a lot of reading and hundreds of flash cards. To my delight, the approach we learned looks nothing like that! We’ll be using the Growing Participators Approach for learning languaculture in our new land.
We had the privilege of learning GPA from two amazing women, both multilingual and one of whom lived in Tunisia for six years. We also had a couple from outside City Church join us for the summit who are headed to the Middle East next month. And we spent nearly a whole day with two language nurturers as we got hands on practice in Phase 1 of GPR. Not only do I no longer fear language learning, but gained confidence and a growing excitement when my nurturer proudly told me that I spoke Kirundi like her mother.
At the end of four intense days and three evenings of dinner conversations… we dropped off our GPA trainers at their hotel. With hopes of seeing them at Candidacy school in June, we said goodbye and I choked back my tears.
We have gotten to know so many amazing, grace filled, people after the Lords heart through our preparation to go. Relationships develop deep and fast. Sharing the struggles, sharing stories, these people get us. They understand the excitement, the joy, the fear, the passion, the burden, the sacrifice… but everyone is on their way here or there or across the world.
I can’t take all of my close friends with us (and not for lack of trying), so these relationships too will be affected by distance. I could despair. We could decide to stay.
But I remember what God said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” And I remember 2 Corinthians 4:18, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. It is not unknown to us that we truly are giving up a great deal, but what we are pursuing is incomparable.
There are many who do not yet know that they are to inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the earth. While we will continue to say goodbye to many whom we love, our hope is in the Lord to bring others home for eternity.
*Interested in hearing more about where we are in our going process… our newsletter is scheduled to go out tomorrow morning. Sign up to receive it at http://eepurl.com/Xk8q5
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