12 Takeaways from Year 1

As the year comes to a close and a new one begins, I wanted to share twelve key takeaways from my first year living on the field.  As with other lists I’ve posted, some points will be more serious, some will be less so; all of them are real reflections of thoughts I’ve had over the last year.  

  1. Learning any new language is a hard and exhausting process, even the ones they tell you are easy to learn
  2. Learning someone’s language is a powerful way to show them that you care, and is 100% worth the effort
  3. There is no escaping the bugs in the tropics 
  4. Righteousness and Justice are incredibly important concepts in scripture 
  5. Indirect communication is not bad, it is just different and I am not used to it 
  6. God really, truly does speak through dreams 
  7. I have to continually surrender control of my life to the Lord, which is so difficult but so worth it every time 
  8. Getting into an argument about spiritual things is never helpful 
  9. The pizza in Asia is not as good as the pizza in the West, but that is okay 
  10. A Christ centered marriage will grow stronger through the pressures of transitioning to another culture 
  11. Success should be defined as striving to be obedient to the Lord in all things 
  12. The mall in the Singapore airport is probably the nicest mall in the world. 

Happy new year!  Praying the Lord would reveal Himself to you in new ways this year. 
-Richard 

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash