Sometimes I forget that I’m in a spot, or a location, or even a season because God has brought me to it. Has brought me into it. But nothing fails to pass through His hands. He knows where I am, and he has a sweet plan for every season I walk through.
This year, this season He’s brought me into is one that I get to spend in Latin America. I get to spend it serving Him in a unique way, and it is such a gift to be here!! Transitioning to a new place and to a new culture is an interesting process. You are learning so much about so many things, and are confused when you realize that most places aren’t on Google maps, you can’t find things you need at the store (and so you need to find a place that’s not on Google maps that sells that stuff), and when some taxis try to charge you seven soles when the price for the trip is really three. You maybe find yourself furrowing your brows a lot, saying “I don’t know” to most questions, and end up asking for a lot of help.
And so what else do you do about those confusions and about adjusting to a new way of life?
You move towards the culture. You press in.
And for me, pressing in to this beautiful culture means buying my eggs from the sweet little man on the corner. Figuring out that I can only buy baking soda at the pharmacy, but laughing over the fact that the first time I bought it I had to play a guessing game with the clerk because I didn’t know what it was called in Spanish. (But it’s súper fácil – bicarbonato de soda. Duh.) Pressing in to Peruvian and Trujillian culture means being amazed that this is a city built in a desert, and that you can only tell by the lack of grass and the excess dust. It means sitting in awe at an only partly-comprehensible church service, where dozens of people are worshipping the God that I love, and realizing that even though I can’t understand them all the time, God does. It means falling a little in love with every student I meet because God is showing me how much he loves every single one. Pressing in means wanting to be a part of the culture here. Wanting to watch and learn and do and be. To love.
And so a prayer for me and my team, for others that are stepping into new locations and new seasons, or for those that are in the midst of those things but are having a hard time adjusting is that we’d learn to lovingly and joyfully press in. That we’d find good in the differences and adventure in the learning process, and that we’d let the people that really know the culture teach us and care for us as we figure out how to live in and give love where we are. That these new places would become home to us. That we’d seek ultimate joy in Jesus, and let that pour out of us as we interact with so many new things.