It’s been a while since my last post. I’m stopping myself from apologizing for that, so that I don’t teach myself that I owe the blog. I’m a little screwed up that way. Anyway, a handful of things have happened.
I’ve had a handful of really good opportunities to share my testimony with local friends.
I got to do something called The Straight Path with my unbelieving language tutor. It goes through several of the commonly accepted prophets from Adam to Mohammed and shows how the NT and the Qur’an insist that each and every prophet points to Jesus Messiah as the way to Allah. Went over medium well. We’ll see.
Our car’s engine exploded on the way back from a town about 4hrs away. Awesome. Been trying to get it fixed for over a month now. Beautiful. But one of my Aikido friends – a 40yr old guy named Tom (not really) – has been helping me navigate the ridiculous minefield of getting major repairs done here. Like I’m his kid brother. I’m super-grateful about that. It runs contrary to my personality to accept being the weaker, needy one in a relationship, but I think it will turn out very woman-at-the-well when it’s all said and done. It looks like we’ll have to sell the car without an engine at a considerable loss and try to find another car. Having a vehicle that’s big enough for our family and maybe a few other team mates is a security priority here. We’ll see what God does with that.
On Joy’s initiative we’ve started having one of my old students, Junie, over weekly for family dinner. This is the girl that invited us out to her home on the trip that killed our engine. We got to know some of her family on that trip, particularly her uncle who lives in our city. He has started coming with her, too, and we’re excited about the prospect of integration into this extended family network. Pray that the word of the Lord would run fast and be well-received.
I also got a very part-time job at a university in the city. I’m really excited about this. It’s the premier university in this part of the world, and they teach all their subjects in English. My job will be to teach their English teachers best practices, and to train their academic content teachers how to teach content using English as a medium to students who aren’t first-language English speakers. I’m excited because a) this is my vocational speciality, b) I have wanted a way to do goodness and to provide something meaningful to the local culture in the name of Jesus, and c) it provides a more readily-understandable integrated identity for me – that is, when I say I am a professor at X University, people can easily understand that and can put me in a socio-economic and vocational slot that makes sense to them. I am less foreign for it, and that is oh-so-good. And I feel more honest about the work.
Other stuff has happened, too. We’re pregnant again – well, mostly my wife. We’re hoping it’s a girl, but any brand of human will be fine. Boys are….energetic, and we have a cool girl name picked out.
Our team is changing. The family that got here first is moving to another field. Nothing bad, just moving. Another family is moving as well. Spiritually, this all feels right. Emotionally, not fun. I don’t make friends easily, and once I do, it’s not fun having them leave. And periods of change, while exciting, are exhausting for us. But, here we go again, right? I mean, what in the last 7 years has been stable for very long, anyway?
I just took a trip to the States for a conference or two. I really enjoyed that. I saw old friends, saw new friends, was touched deeply by Jesus (more on that in another post), and think I might have caught a glimpse of what I’m supposed to do with the rest of my life, starting a few years from now.
Also, I saw The Avengers. Good stuff.