Here we are, approaching one year living in our new country! It’s hard to wrap my brain around how much history is under our feet as we live here. And yet we experience it as children, since we are learning the language, instead of as cool educated western researchers or something like that. It’s quite humbling to have chosen this path; it means we feel not only out of place as foreigners, but stupid too, sometimes, since we are intentionally trying to learn from them things that their children already know by four years old! But if the king of the universe became an infant, (permit some Shakespeare) “meulling and puking in [his] nurse’s arms” for OUR sake, we can take some awkwardness and embarrassing moments for the sake of the beautiful people here.
I wish I could tell you how much I love the people. Before coming, I worried that maybe I was just coming to obey and wouldn’t really even like the people. Because, after all, I am really introverted. But even though I have some days of not wanting to see a face of ANY shape, size or color, I have been overwhelmed time and time again by a huge love for people we meet here. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with it because it would be kinda weird to have somebody from the other side of the world showing up and being all crazy about you, wouldn’t it? But they are just so sweet. They’re not always jumping on the idea of following Jesus. So it’s hard—hard to see how precious and amazing they are and yet also see their hardness of heart. But our bottom line is always, Jesus is worth it. He’s suffered more than we ever will, and He knows what it takes to reach a rebellious yet precious people. He can do it. It’s a huge privilege to be here.
I feel I should mention our language progress, as that is our primary ministry focus for one more full year. Suffice it to say that I know enough to kinda-sorta-almost chew out the street vendor when he tries to give me greens for three times the normal price, and my husband is able to discuss a list of house repair items with the landlord over tea and later work together to fix them. It is, surprisingly, really working. We are learning to speak the language! I think we’re at about an 18-mo-old toddler level, but it’s coming!
Pray that God will equip us for the hard things in life, that like our Savior we may not shrink away from His will but press through, for the joy set before us, and receive the crown of life—and a bunch of people recognizing us in heaven!
-from a worker in Central Asia