It’s funny how much I’ve heard that word this past week. I’m beginning to wonder what God is trying to get across to me. 🙂 In every day, there are expectations. Like, I expect to wake up every morning. I guess it’s really easy to have expectations without realizing it.
I definitely had certain expectations about coming here. It was going to be hot, humid and sticky. My time here was going to be hard, especially the first couple of weeks before I got into the swing of things. I would have to really rely on God to take away my fears and give me a huge love for the people in inner-city New Orleans. Living with room mates was going to be hard… and on and on. And yet, the cool thing is, almost none of those expectations actually happened. I mean, yes it’s hot and humid and sticky outside, but the office that I work in some of the time is air conditioned, my house is kept at a constant 80 degrees Fahrenheit but we have fans and it really hasn’t been too bad. My time here has been absolutely great so far. I haven’t felt awkward coming into a new setting and not knowing anybody. I feel like I’ve always been here and am just part of the family. A friend of mine took me to her house in the city and was talking and all of a sudden, she looks at me in surprise and goes, “Wait, you’ve never been to my house?” and when I reminded her I’ve only been here for about a week and a half, she looked at me and went, “Funny! I feel like I know you, and you’ve just been here and a part of us forever!” That’s not very common for new staff, so I thank God over and over again for helping this transition be so easy.
And as far as the loving the people in the city of New Orleans… well, He’s been helping me with that as well. I just went to a bible study in the city with my friend (same as above mentioned) and a lady who’s her neighbor. She’s not very literate, and has a hard time understanding God’s word. She believes but doesn’t fully let it change her life. She’s been living with her “man” for years, had a family with him and they don’t ever plan to get married. And I loved it! It was soo cool to be a part of God’s working in her heart.
And… after we finished the bible study, we walked outside and there was one of the drug dealers in the neighborhood. It was so neat to talk with him and hear about his life. He just got a real job bussing tables, so he hasn’t been dealing for the past 10 months. He’s in his first faithful relationship. So open and honest and willing to talk about Christ. He’s talking about coming back to church and hearing God’s word. If any of the guys in the hood hit on my friend, he tells them to back off because she’s a real Christian woman who’s waiting for her man and for marriage. 🙂
It was so cool to be there to see how to interact with these people. My friend said, “the key is to surrender your fear to Christ, love on people and be real about your faith in Christ to them. When you love people, they open up and you make relationships that will go a long way”
Needless to say, God’s teaching me a lot and I have to say, my entire idea of missions and missionaries has been changed!
Prayer Requests: For the ability to organize and just help because we have a huge conference here next week and the week after we have 80 volunteers coming, not including extra staff. So it’s going to be a busy next couple of weeks!