After over a year of praying, thinking and seeking direction, and then another 4 months of partnership development, I am finally in Istanbul! It seems like I have been talking and thinking about this city forever, and now that I am here it almost doesn’t feel real. The pre-going part of my journey was a walk of faith in and of itself and makes me even more excited for what lies ahead. God’s provision for me during the summer of partnership development and CPA exam studying was extraordinary, and I have full confidence in where He has me for this season of my life.
I arrived early October around noon with two of my new teammates, Isabella and Julie. My first challenge was figuring out how to transport my luggage, which included a large suitcase, hiking backpack, and large cardboard box, around the airport. I ended up trekking all the way down the corridor to buy a cart and luckily they took dollars. My new team leader was waiting for us outside of customs, and we took an hour taxi ride to his apartment, where I’ll be staying for a week or so. The main aspect of the city that shocked me was just how massive it is. I literally have not been able to see where it ends, except for some mountains in the distant background. Maybe I will get to see all of it in the next two years?
During the first week I have mostly done practical and set-up time activities. I already have a cell phone and public transportation card, and have done some shopping for apartment furnishings with one of my new roommates, Aaron. The last couple of days have consisted of orientation with the rest of my team, which includes four single women, my two roommates, and one married couple. They helped the three newbies with different parts of life through some panels and discussion time. I am hoping to be moved into my new room within the next few days and starting language learning this week.
I have been given a small glimpse of the work God is doing through this team already, and I feel even more blessed to be a part of it than before I left. Although I won't be personally involved in the team ministry for a few months, I will be hoping to share Christ with local Turks during the language learning phase. Please be praying for my acclimation to all aspects of the culture and for a supernatural self-discipline to study and develop Turkish.
Until Next Time, Ken