Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
I just finished the SPLICE cultural adaptation training at Mission Training Institute. I was excited to be here both because it is just one more step closer to getting to the field and because I had been anticipating that God had big plans for me in this training. Well, God has, once again, done “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” This training has gone well beyond what I had anticipated in providing helpful tools, it has also broken through to deep heart level issues. One of our sessions was about the paradox that missionaries face. They used a visual illustration of a “pair-o-ducks” with one duck called the “Yay” duck and one duck called the “Yuck” duck. The “Yay” duck represents all of the exciting things the missionary is looking forward to in serving in another context, the “Yuck” duck represents the hard things such as leaving family and friends, letting go of the comfortable, entering into the stresses of language learning and navigating a very unfamiliar environment where things just don’t work the way we’re used to. We have to embrace the paradox. It doesn’t help to pretend that the “yucks” don’t exist but we can keep them in perspective as we appreciate the “yays.” I share this with you because I want all those who care about me to recognize that I am already living in this tension. I can at one moment be in tears thinking about leaving my nephew and nieces behind and the next be excited because of God's having provided me with a great apartment and roommate in Cambodia. If I'm talking with you and I'm all animated about getting to the field, don't for a minute think that I'm not sad about having to leave you. At the same time, if you catch me on a down day, don't think that I'm having second thoughts about leaving. I'm just living with both of these "ducks."