Goer blogs

Patience, Silence

By John on December 20, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

Americans don't have the greatest reputation for patience. We are used to having what we want, when we want, which doesn't translate well to many other cultures that are much more at home taking their time. I would consider myself a fairly patient person by American standards... and this continent just looks at my "patience" and laughs.  I'll give you a "for instance". My friend and I went to a wedding reception last week and foolishly arrived on time, only to find that the room didn't fill with people for another hour, and the wedding party didn't even arrive for two more hours after that.... Read more

Houston, We Have Lift Off

By Alexander on November 26, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

Here's a fun fact: NASA astronauts spend 6-8 hours a day in underwater replicas of the International Space Station in order to prepare for their upcoming missions. We can call it dedication, or adult swim on steroids. Despite all this training, something tells me when they finally get into outer space they are nonetheless surrounded by an inexplicable aura of differentness. Despite hours of weightlessness in an Earth-bound pool, surely nothing can completely prepare oneself for the otherworldy sights, sounds, smells, and feeling of space.  I feel like an astronaut. Granted, my GPA was likely... Read more

Brights

By John on November 3, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

I just got home from six weeks of training in the mountains of North Carolina. It was a beautiful time of getting to know lots of other people with similar callings, going all over the world, and I think I learned as much about myself as I did about the people I met. God revealed to me how much I need him, how there are so many things that I still struggle with even as I depart that only He could ever help me overcome.  As I was driving back home (it seems God always hits me with these profound encounters with Him when it's just him and me in the car), I was on a four-lane highway, in the... Read more

Look Up

By Alexander on September 7, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

“…palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy” No, those are not the lines from a popular early 2000s rap song. On the contrary, those words are the finite description of the wearisome reality I landed myself in over a month ago as I all but crawled up a mountain in the Ouchita National Forest of the Arkansas back country. I love backpacking. I love backpacking like Kel loves orange soda and like Baptists love fried chicken. However, as thrilled as I am about being in no man’s land for days relying on nothing but Cliff Bars and sheer wit for survival, when there is nothing but the July sun... Read more

Closer Still

By John on August 18, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

It does not seem so long ago that even getting halfway to the support I needed felt like a nigh-impossible task. Now, by the grace of God, I am well over halfway and getting close to having the support pledged that I need to go. God has provided in so many beautiful little moments, constantly reminding me of His faithfulness when I am a little too quick to forget. That is not to say it has been easy; I've had to push myself and try to be faithful in the process, and He has been more than faithful in the provision. I can already see through the process of partnership that my relationships are... Read more

Dear Future Goers

By Jessica on August 17, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Asia - Central

Dear all future goers, To those who are crazy enough to go on this adventure…to those who are ready to have their world rocked by God… to those who want to serve the Lord whole–heartedly, here are a few thoughts for you,  Before you go, be ready to have God show you some things about yourself while you’re overseas. He might show you the good, the bad, or the ugly. But don’t just see it, accept it and then ask God how to have a heart more like His. As much as this experience is about serving, it’s also about God teaching your more about yourself. Be ready to lower your expectations and be open... Read more

A Mid Summer Update

By Alexander on July 30, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

[Note: This post is an extension and edit of my newsletter update]             What a summer it has been, and what a good God we follow! We’re just over halfway done with the summer, so I wanted to catch everyone up on where I’m at right now. Nine weeks ago I embarked upon the summer support raising process in order to make my move to the Middle East, and it is safe to say I’m not the same person I was nine weeks ago…in a good way! The past nine weeks have been full of challenging conversations, personal growth, countless meetings, and seeing God’s hand at work and providing in ways I’ve... Read more

Holy Awkward

By Alexander on July 5, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

“You strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel.” I think we all understand what imagery Jesus was going for here, and his first century, Jewish audience certainly did as well. I can’t help but imagine these words being followed by a thick silence and a few of the religious elite blushing a new shade of crimson. “Did he really just say that?” It had to have been awkward. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it is helpful to think that even the Son of Man orchestrated a few awkward scenarios of his own.                 Such a thought is all too comforting for me, especially because the past 5... Read more

The Beauty of Interdependence

By John on June 9, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

I pride myself on being a pretty independent person. I can explore a new city and not get lost, and live away from my friends and family without missing them too badly. I'm realizing, though, that independence is not so great as our American culture makes it out to be. As I'm working through the support-raising process, I'm seeing how much I need the people around me as they commit to walk with me in this amazing thing God has called me to do. I'm constantly reminded of my insufficiency in and of myself. The books I've been reading in preparation for the Middle East have been reinforcing this... Read more

#5girlinanauto

By Jessica on June 8, 2015 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Asia - Central

Saying Good-bye  This past month I’ve had to say “see ya later” to two of my closest friends in South Asia. Our team started out as five girls and we all moved in together. We did life together, ministry together, we cried and laughed together, we had dance parties together. Now a year and a half later, it's time to return back to America. Before Lindsey left, we all spent one last week together as #5girlsinanauto. About eight months ago we split into two teams as two of our teammates moved to another city in South Asia. We still stayed in close touch, but it was wonderful to be together... Read more