I’ve been back in America for a little over two months now.
In that time I have moved into my first apartment, started my Sophomore year of college, gotten a job, learned to cook with recipes, and questioned my life choices.
For some of you all of this may come as a shock since I have neglected to post anything to the blog for almost five months months now, maybe this is the first time that you have even heard of my trip. This was a season of life which didn’t lend itself well to the multimedia world as I had no interest in being held prisoner or being the source of the demise of the nationals around me. So, I’m now back in the country and beginning to work through processing my trip.
I was granted the beautiful opportunity to move to the country of Myanmar for ten whole weeks this summer in order to work with local mission efforts through the Assemblies of God in the country’s largest city. There were so many aspects of the trip that took my spirit by surprise, but now, as I sit here transposing this message to all of you, my heart is overwhelmed with strikingly large portions of grief and gratitude. The process of adjusting back to my life in America is no small feat.
Things like drinkable tap water and worm-less food stuffs is something that has proven difficult to adjust back to. Not to mention the parasite (which I have affectionately named Jackson) who made his home in my gut and paralyzes me with puking fits every so often. Life on this side of the world is so vastly different that I am constantly finding myself at a loss for words.
The veil is thin in Southeast Asia. I saw and learned things there that stretched the capacity of my brain to comprehend the supernatural. I was a part of a country whose spiritual warfare never struggles to manifest itself clearly. Myanmar is broken. There is darkness there like I have never experienced before.
But there is also light so blinding that I often felt unworthy. I would gather with fellow believers, welcomed into their home to share food and worship together. The people of Myanmar taught me what the church was created to look like.
“42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” -Acts 2:42-47
The church functioned as a whole. They gathered together every week to break bread and serve the Lord. We spent time singing praises after dinner, in the living room of city apartments, saturating in the Spirit. They loved each other wholly, spent their time serving one another and helping one another. As the Acts 2 church they had everything in common.
The people of Myanmar are beautiful for so many different reasons, but amongst the top is their capacity for selfless generosity. As a foreigner, though I had to spend time earning their trust, they were so generous in extending their love to me – welcoming me into their homes, sharing what little food they had – they are a people devoted to one another. They have to be. For so many years an oppressive government and twisted system have made it impossible for them to function any other way.
It is now, while I have been back in America for months now that I realize that there is no possible way to tell the world about my time in Myanmar while still doing justice to all that the Lord did in my own heart in the time that I lived there. It has been a long while since I left the country, but in so many ways I am still processing, as I believe that I will continue to for months, even years to come.
God restored my passion, generously reminding me of the calling that I feel to serve the nations, so go, to be sent. College does a good job of voiding passions that seem unreasonable, but as there is no way that I could have possibly gotten to the country of Myanmar without the Lord’s divine hand, I am confident that he is faithful to carry me through the world with the passion that he has so deeply imprinted on my heart.
There are so many things that I want to say, but as I have struggled for months to find the words, I struggle still to communicate my time in Myanmar with a lens which does justice to the faithfulness of the Lord and the beauty of the people.
So, for now, I would like to extend a thank you to all of those who committed to pray for me while I was overseas, and those who have so deeply cared for me in my time while being there and in coming back to life in America.
Until then, love you all, and I will be talking to you again soon! I mean it!
P.S. Something to look out for! I have been asked to write an article for Tirzah Magazine, which will be published in the upcoming months. It discusses my time serving in the Village and the process of getting to Myanmar. Check out the article here: Walking Humbly with Your God