Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11
Just Imagine you are…
Sitting in a room full of people and you are the only one who is not a native speaker of the language that is heard all around you.
Attending a team meeting that is conducted in another language and you sit in a corner receiving whispered translation where you lose 50% of the information.
Dropping your kids off at school and other than hello or goodbye, you don’t know if you are up to trying a couple of sentences when your child’s three year-old classmate speaks better than you.
Having the cashier turn your grocery cart around because you couldn’t understand what she was asking and then she catches on and says ‘turn…cart.’
Walking the streets of your neighborhood, keeping your head down whenever you pass a male, because direct eye contact gives the wrong impression.
Struggling through a presentation of the Gospel in another language because, weak as you are, you may very well be the only one who will ever share the Good News face-to-face with this person.
Praying like crazy everywhere you go…everywhere you are living your life…that all you cannot understand on the surface will some-beautiful-how translate to eternity.
No amount of short-term overseas experiences could have prepared me for when a new country would become my home. The last 15 months of my life have been some of the hardest of my 39 years. Yet, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
I am learning to embrace the life of a sojourner in ways that would NOT have happened if we had NOT pursued God’s call overseas as a family.
Abraham’s call in Genesis 12 to leave his ancestral home becomes my own.
I experience the exile of the people of Israel as well as their longing for Home.
And most, I deepen in my understanding of what Christ sacrificed to come from heaven to earth.
Leaving the comforts of an eternally secure and infinitely beautiful love relationship in the Trinity.
Surrendering riches that our fullest hearts could never imagine.
Subjecting Himself, the Word who spoke the world into existence, to all of the cruelties and depravity that came when that world rebelled and pitted itself against the Giver of Life.
Speaking the same language and yet so very, very often not being understood because eyes were blind and ears were deaf.
And through this deeper understanding, I come to the end of my secure-in-myself life.
I am stripped bare of the confidences that would cover me in my comfort zone.
I cannot survive without the depth of love and understanding from the King of the Strangers, Aliens and Sojourners.
Cross-cultural Ministry is all about stepping into a place where you become the Stranger. The one who recognizes well when the world around you collectively finds you…strange.
Where you sink or learn to swim in an ocean of Grace filled with the vision of the One who paved the way and gives you all you need to walk this road with love, joy, peace. ALL of the fruits of the Kingdom.
You are called to this life, friend.
It may never mean stepping foot in another country, let alone making it your home.
But if you want to become like Jesus in ways you never imagined as you courageously follow Him, it must mean something.
So I ask you, as I daily ask myself, how is God calling you to embrace being a Sojourner. An Alien. A person who lives in such a way that she experiences acutely that she is not meant to fit comfortably into this world?
Abby is a small-town loving, big city adventurer. She and her husband have worked with high school students most of their lives! Since their internship in Budapest, Hungary in 2005-2006, they have been working with the ministry of CRU. In May of this year, they moved to Hungary answering God's call to work long-term with the students of Central and Eastern Europe. Abby loves to laugh, especially at herself, has a passion for God and making Him known and is ever learning how to do that with three small children, ages 5, 3 and one month. She wouldn't trade the journey for anything! She blogs regularly at Fan the Flame
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