Today was my last day in the Middle East (for now…). The call to prayer woke me up unfortunately (I usually sleep through it…) at 5 am, I rode a crowded metro into the heart of the city, spent my morning haggling with vendors over a pocket full of pyramid souvenirs, followed a stranger into a sketchy back alley to buy shoes, ate a bean sandwich for breakfast at 2:00pm, me and my roommate just ate dinner with our hands while sitting on the floor, and I slammed back a cup of Turkish coffee at 9:00pm.
Today was my last day in the Middle East, and it wasn’t much different from any other day I’ve had here. And that’s the thing; so much of this has become normal now that I don’t even realize how weird it is. It’s a humbling thought.
Two years ago I wrote one of my first blog posts was titled ‘Nervous but Excited’, because that’s exactly how I felt embarking upon this experience to serve for two years. Tomorrow I get back on a plane for America, and I’m faced with much of the same feeling.
I can’t describe my excitement, my longing for friends and family, to go to a church, to be unremarkable on the street, and to be known. But amidst all the excitement I’m also a bit nervous. The things that once were very normal two years ago now seem foreign. Driving a car late at night across Texas interstates, supermarkets, sports bars, and sidewalks you can actually walk (maybe even run!) on?!
I think it’s going to be a hilarious, God glorifying train wreck; I can’t wait to experience it. Because that’s the thing! I was reading in Hebrews how Abraham followed God, leaving his country and journeying to a new one, but in the end his hope wasn’t on the country here or there. His hope and faith was in God. How cool!
Pray for me, and all of us, that we’d adapt this mindset. Whether I’m in a strange country with camels or an even stranger country with pickup trucks, pray that my hope would be in God and the kingdom that he’s bringing.
I don’t have words to express my thanks to all of you who have read this blog for two years now and followed along. A few more posts are coming, but sadly we’re near the end. Love you all, see you soon.