first things first

A blog about whatever crosses my mind, ordered by importance.

Slow Going

I’ve been in Albania now almost 3 weeks. Prior to now, the longest I’d ever been outside the US was 10 days. It definitely feels strange, knowing I’ll be here probably 6 or 7 more months before I make a trip back to Dallas. There’s a lot of things I’ve been missing - including having a clothes dryer and a dishwasher. I saw some pictures of friends going to the State Fair, and I felt a bit homesick.

But, every time I feel homesick I remind myself why I’m here. And that helps a lot. God is so good. And my Albanian friends have been really good to me. This week, some friends even cooked mexican food for me and my roommates.

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. Mark 10:29-30

I’ve definitely experienced this. I’ve left homes, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. But I’ve already gained new brothers and sisters, new friends and family. Jesus’ promise here is for “this present age”! I’ll hold on to that promise, and I know he will provide even more in the coming months.

One thing that’s been bothering me is that I feel like I’m starting off very slowly. Going from the 9-to-5 working world into ministry work is a big transition. Our planning meetings, when we have them, are done by 1pm, and I’m left to fill the rest of the day as best I can. As of yet, I don’t have the network to be filling that time with evangelism and discipleship. But, as my friends keep telling me, this is OK. These things will come on God’s timing.

In the meantime, I’ve been learning Wordpress in order to build a new website for our ministry. And I’ve been studying and practicing Albanian. I hired a private tutor, and we’re going at a very fast pace. My goal is to be able to understand a team meeting within 6 months.

Please pray for me, that I’ll be diligent to use my self-directed time wisely. Please pray that I’ll give up my anxieties about my effectiveness, and cast them on Jesus. We are hosting a weekly seminar on effective teambuilding starting on the 28th of October, this will be my first opportunity to really build relationships with the young professionals. Please pray for that to go well.

I should really integrate a prayer calendar with my blog - maybe that will be my next technical post :)

oh, and BTHO BAMA!