Wednesday, July 22, 2009

But even if he does not

Well, I suppose this is my first official Russia adventure update. I'm currently in Pasadena and about halfway through my first week of training. It is so odd to think I haven't even been gone a week. It feels like I've been away forever! Already, I'm feeling used to being here and I'm excited about my team and my roommate (who is actually going to Kazakhstan). I've certainly had my moments of uncertainty, fear, and doubt already but thankfully my friends, family, and most importantly God, have reassured me that this is exactly where I need to be. The reality of what lies ahead is finally setting in. I am about to move to Russia for a year. Sounds cool right? Yes. It also sounds a little different after our sessions on language, culture shock, living conditions, crime, corruption, and poverty. It doesn't change the fact that I want to go, it just drives home the fact that this will indeed be an incredibly challenging experience.

Yesterday we had a session entitled "grappling with reality" The purpose of this session was to lower our expectations and paint a more realistic picture of what life overseas will actually be like. We talked about the dangers of living overseas...about police corruption, domestic violence, theft, sexual harassment/assault,alcoholism, etc. Such things happen across the world but when we are taken out of our own familiar surroundings and put into a place where our knowledge of such things is limited I guess things might be a little riskier (sorry, mom). I think we all walked away from the session feeling encouraged that there are steps we can take to remain safe, but also a little uneasy about what we may face.

Later in the afternoon I was talking to my roommate and we were discussing how scary it is to think that such things could happen to us. She told me she had been reading in Daniel and a particular passage stuck out to her. As she read it to me, it gave me chills. In this passage Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are about to be thrown into the fiery furnace and they respond to the king in this way:

"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

We will go overseas, with the confidence that we are under the Lord's protection and he will keep us safe. But even if he does not, God is still God, and we will love and serve him regardless.


Mom said...

I'm glad to hear a little about what you have been learning. Unfortunately, what they're telling you is not news to me! I've been concerned about it all along. And even today at work, a coworker shared stories of violence overseas. But I have had to go, time and time again, and put you at the Savior's feet, believing that He will NEVER leave you or forsake you...regardless of what you face. And the same is true for me as I watch you go! It's now about just how solidly we believe what He has promised. Can we step out on those promises, trusting that they are solid ground? I have no doubt that we will have plenty of opportunities to do that, and I believe with all my heart that He will show Himself faithful, however that faithfulness looks.

Call when you can!! We're praying. Love, Mom

katie said...

Ahhh.. I cried reading this and then cried again reading your mom's reply. I am praying for you, my friend. I love you so much and am proud of you for doing what you know God's called you to.

Be safe, my lil rush!

andrea said...

I just looked at photos on facebook of your training. It looks like you are comfortable now and enjoying this time in CA. That makes me happy.