Just a few highlights from the last two weeks:
- I'm a pro at killing drunken Dominican bees.
- If we are what we eat, I am the first official avacado-plantain hybrid.
- If I had a quarter for everytime my little brother ran around in his underwear... I'd have tuition covered.
- Does carrying a knife and pepper spray count as packin' heat?
- Drinking rotten pineapple made into juice has the same effects as eating rotten pineapple plain.
As you can see, it's been both exciting and interesting so far! There is something truly exhilerating about being exactly where you're supposed to be. Until you figure out why you're supposed to be there. Ha.
I found out about this trip during my sophmore year in highschool and, as I already knew I would be going to Bethel, I determined that this trip was definitely for me. What an incredible way to experience immersion in the Hispanic culture I love so much, and what an amazing opportunity to learn Spanish. So, I definitely had my own purposes for coming to the DR. The awesome thing, in my mind, was that they were God's purposes too! He has called me to minister to the Hispanic community, so what better way to prepare myself for His calling than this? While I am still convinced that He desires for me to learn this language and to learn it with the help of this experience, He has made me aware that His ways are higher than mine. His purposes take precedence over mine.
Like most people, I have my share of junk and baggage in my life. I've learned to live with it. Not only that, I took it a step or seven further, and I have built up my identity in my baggage. Jesus is pretty clear about where our identity ought to be found. But Jesus, I don't know who I am without this! But He does.
In my small group we were talking about God's reasons for bringing each of us here, to the DR. My answer was easy and right at the tip of my tongue. "To learn Spanish!!" And then that still small, yet utterly insistent voice whispered... THIS is why I brought you here. It was MY idea. I want to make you Holy and Whole, without your baggage.
Naturally, I acted as most children do when they don't get their way. "Gaa-aaahd!! Noooo. That's not fair. You tricked me. You dangled the Spanish carrot and then swooped down with your major remodel plans and I just DON'T WANT TO DO THIS HERE!" Ah ha! The perfect excuse. So, in my best politician impression I diplomatically say: "Now, God. This seems like a great plan. How well thought out! But let's not be too hasty. You'll have my full support and cooperation as soon as I get back on US soil." Imagine how well that went over.
So here I am in the DR. Doing my best to meekly accept God's true purpose for bringing me here. So keep praying for me, because I am not meek by nature.