Back in the Game!

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….And I’m back. We returned from Albania on Sunday and I started my new job on Tuesday. I’m happy to be back and happy to be working again. Now I just have to find a place to live and my life will settle in a little before starting another semester of the MABC. Here is the question I get the most often now that I am home: how was Albania?

Well…for details you can check out the blog where I live blogged while we were there. But for now I’ll tell you my thoughts on returning.

1. Albania is a very interesting country. Like a combination of Spain and Mexico. It has the little street coffee cafe’s, but you can’t drink the water or flush toilet paper, the water and electricity turn off…etc.

2. I spent a lot of my time being sick. And by a lot I mean I just felt like I was sick a lot. I got the flu on the plane over there, a cold and fever, and had some stomach and sinus problems over there. So I fought with God- why would You bring me all the way across the world to get me sick? And realized how proud I am and that I still think, after all these years, that I know better than God.

3. I didn’t feel busy over there. We did everything we were asked to do and more, so it wasn’t that we were lazy. It’s just that the pace of life is a lot slower. I realized how much self-worth I get from feeling busy. I like to be doing something all the time and I think that makes me important. Again, I realized my pride in how busy I think I should be and how important I think my time is. I really think that my time is incredibly valuable. I’m such a sinner.

4. I am very grateful for Amy and Bart and the rest of our team. Our team got along wonderfully. No conflict. No drama. Bart is a wonderful leader and easy to follow. Amy is an amazingly caring servant. Together they are a really dynamic couple and I loved getting to spend time with them. It was a different team dynamic because we spent a lot of our team apart or doing different things, but that doesn’t change the fact that we went over with a quality group of people and it made all the difference in the world.

There’s more to it…but those are my basic thoughts. I saw a lot of my sin over there. Something about being in a different culture with the same heart makes it show up a lot clearer. I saw impatience mixed with pride mixed with selfishness mixed with fear of man mixed with independence mixed with discontentment mixed with craving comfort and ease all together. I wish I could say I went over there one way and came back a different person. I didn’t. I just saw a lot of my sin, but I don’t know that I’ve changed very much.

I’m looking forward to the fruit God will bring from this trip. I am trying to train my mind to think that holiness is the most precious possession in this world, and that Christlikeness is God’s ultimate end in my life. It’s a miracle that God would take the time to conform me to the image of His Son, and a miracle that holiness is even possible in the life of a wretched sinner like me. So if even one Christlike fruit comes as a result of this trip…it was worth it.

It’s good to be home, though.

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