There is so much to talk about from this past week! We had a wonderful lady, Sarah Lanier, come and talk to us Monday-Wednesday on engaging cross culturally! I found this topic very intriguing because I plan on visiting many different cultures in my lifetime! She had so many great thought provoking things to say but I only will be able to mention a couple things here!
One big thing from her teaching was unity! In John 17 starting in verse 20 Jesus talks about how we are suppose to be one with each other as Jesus is one with God. It was really interesting because she was saying one of the biggest ways people get burned out of something is when they have a team that argues. Strife in the Bible is listed along side murder. God does not like it and there is no grace/presence of God when a team is fighting. We must constantly die to ourselves and put others first!
Another big thing that struck me was when she was talking about people’s values. Everybody has values, which are feelings/laws we live by. There are two big types of values, which are individual and cultural. The key is that values are emotional. There are no set right and wrong values to have. Everybody has a different past and have been raised certain ways in terms of their family and environments. This was a huge revelation to me because I fell under believing my values are right and that certain other people’s values were wrong. I realized this week that I was majorly wrong! My values are not better or right compared to other peoples! This will be a key for me in going to different cultures. I now know to adapt to them and not change them because neither of us is right only God is the real right way!
Along with this wonderful teaching Thanksgiving was this past week! I had the amazing opportunity to go home to spend it with my family!!! It was the first time flying by myself and Atlanta airport was an absolutely crazy experience! So through constant prayers to God I found my way through and I boarded my plane to head home! It was just so incredible to see my family when I came off of the plane!!! I missed them so much in the two months I had been gone! It was great just to go home and eat the meal my mom prepared and just relax at home and talk with them!!
While home we hit up the stores black Friday for some good deals on clothes! We got family pictures in and went and cut down a Christmas tree and decorated it! I visited my dad's family to celebrate my birthday as well. Also, I was so happy I got to go to church Sunday morning! It was really great to see everyone again! I just felt so extremely blessed to be able to spend this time with my family! I am incredibly thankful for them! God really blessed me with my amazing family!
I also got some sad news over the weekend that one of the boys in the orphanage in Burkina Faso that I visited passed away. He was one of the boys critically injured during the bus accident over the summer. They thought that he was all-good except for not being to see out of his left eye, so this came as a great shock! Early Saturday morning he ended up passing away due to the trauma he suffered during this accident. This is a very sad/hard time for my friends over in Burkina so if I could just ask everyone to send some prayers up for them that would be so wonderful! They need all the love and comfort they can get! He was a lover of the Lord however and is a much better place!!! The hard part is for all his loved ones left here!