monkey-on-swayambhunath-stupa-kathmandu-1024x715To be honest and fair, I learned a lot in Seminary.

Things I didn’t know before about God, theology, and evangelism.

I listened to wonderful professors teach, preach, and share from their personal experiences in ministry.

By far my favorite were the stories I heard from the mission professors and visiting missionaries.

I sat on the edge of my seat, fascinated by such tales. Longing to one day go to a far off land and allow God to give me my own stories.

But now, here I sit on the other side of the world, and to be honest there were certainly days, experiences that I never learned about in Seminary.

For example, no one ever taught us what we should do when driving if a beloved cow wanders into the road. How to handle wondering monkeys, or how to really deal with the cultural stresses you face on a daily basis.

No one ever informed us what we should do in case we were in a developing country with a sick child, how we should handle the constant daily stresses, much less what to do if an earthquake strikes.

And though we knew when coming here that we would certainly face spiritual warfare, I can’t say that I “learned” what that really would mean or what it would entail.

Now, years later here we are.

And I’m here to tell you that the spiritual warfare is real.

I have been praying that God would break our hearts over the lostness of the people here, praying that He would fill our hearts with compassion for the people. As I was riding on the bus yesterday, I sat silently praying, and it was all I could do not to break into tears. For you see, as I prayed, I realized that I was probably one of the only ones on the bus who knew Jesus, and my heart broke.

Today has been one of those days I didn’t hear much about. It’s funny how in chapel and in class, I often only heard about the “glory” days, or the best of the missionaries time abroad. Yet, I didn’t hear a lot about the “hard” days, when it seems everything goes wrong.

Since the weekend, our family has been passing about a stomach bug, from something we ate, maybe, from a bacterial infection, maybe, from an amoeba, could be. Either way it hasn’t been fun, yet we have found that its part of the missionary life.

Today, I got to teach English to a group of students who just returned to school due to the earthquakes. Daily we meet people who lost everything in the earthquake.

And some days you just long for normal. Some days I make a list of all the foods I miss and wish I had.

Lately, it has turned hot here, and with limited electricity and no air conditioning, the thickness of the air, can overwhelm.

It is easy to gripe about the place. Easy to complain about the discomforts.

But then I am reminded that it is a privilege to serve my King here. I’m reminded that Jesus never had a place to lay his head, much less a home of his own. I remember that compared to most that live here, I am so blessed and have so much to be thankful for.

I’m sure if I could sit down now with my mission professors and talk to them about their hard days, they would have numerous stories to tell. Much wisdom to offer.

But I would also say, that their victories and good days far outshined the rest.

So though, there is a lot I didn’t learn in seminary, there is much I’m learning now.

Learning to find my joy, my contentment and my satisfaction in Christ.

I’m learning to be thankful for the little things, and to complain less.

The Lord is showing me how blessed I am, that He opened my eyes.

He is teaching me that though the enemy may not want us here, He does, and He is far greater.

And I’m learning that no matter what the circumstance, the situation, He is still good, and He is still in control.

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