It's 11:17 p.m. My nieces are spending a few days with us and want to sleep with Auntie Kayleen, but I was watching movies with friends and didn't get home until 10:45. I just lay between them holding their hands until they fell asleep, but I won't let myself sleep until I set aside some time to process being back here. Process having two little seven year-olds always wanting to play with me and hold my hand. Process shopping malls and English-speaking friends and dishwashers. My world in Bolivia was not living in a mud hut with no outside communication. I had friends who spoke English, I could shop at supermarkets, I even ate Pringles. But life is different here. There are different expectations, different priorities.
Today at church was hard. As I walked up to the door with my mom, she greeted the girl holding the door for us, but only by saying hi. I was actually startled by the fact that there was no hug and kiss like is traditional in Bolivian culture. Lots of people gave me hugs when I came in because I was home for the first time in ten months, but it was different from hugs in Bolivia, which are all about finding out how you are and just letting you know you're loved. Hugs in Fall Creek are wonderful, because they say "You've been gone a long time and we've missed you," but they are different.
Also, tonight I hung out for the first time with non-missionary, non-Bolivian friends. I was a little nervous on the way there. They are friends that I haven't known for a long time, and I worried that I wouldn't be aware enough of pop culture or even of how to be a friend in a North American setting to fit in. Things were fine in our meal and movie, but I was very quiet, observing a lot more than I talked.
There is no doubt that I miss Bolivia. I miss my friends there, the work I had there, the tranquila culture, but I am glad to be here, too. I start my exciting new adventure soon, and I'm ready to start looking for jobs and a place to live. I'm ready to renew some friendships here. I'm ready to serve Christ in a new way again. I just pray for strength for the task and trust in God's faithfulness.
Song I've been loving my Matt Redman- Never Once
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing every victory
Is Your power in us
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful