Written by a Cafe 1040 Student
A light musical alarm sounds in the background as I sit up to the small beam of sunshine poking through our window. The hot morning air, combined with the humidity, makes for an unusual awakening. As I push off my mattress to stand, I think to myself how different it feels than the air I am used to in Canada.
As I walk down the stairs with a railing that comes about to my hip [if you don’t know, Asians aren’t notoriously tall], I hear the songbirds chirping and am warmed with the similarities to home. I go into the kitchen to have a morning orange and prepare for my run – not something I always saw the benefit in at home (running is hard) but something I have happily adopted and would like to continue when I return. Once I am out the door with my roommates, we stretch out on our way to the morning meeting place, waving to our kind elderly neighbor as she waters her garden. And we’re off, all at our own paces we run in the morning, alongside a beautiful view.
Enjoying our Father’s glory and creativity, I think about the community; I think about how I can be intentional with the locals and make an effort to reach out to them. I ask Him to be with me today, that He would guide me through my conversations, and lead me to opportunities to serve Him well. It is with this excitement and joy that I start almost every day here.
After a cold shower I head into town to have some local breakfast, which I can almost guarantee has either rice or noodles – two things I have grown to love. Maybe that love is just out of necessity, but I’m fine with it either way! I wander through the community looking for something to eat. I notice parents sweeping the sidewalk and refilling the incense at the entrance to their house. I wave and look onward. After a few minutes, a father comes out and sets out food on his altar – a constant reminder of why I am here. The darkness is prevalent, and the lights are few, but we have a powerful Member on our side.
Light has come into the world, but as humans we loved the darkness instead. All of us who take part in evil hate the light because it exposes our deeds. But whoever lives in the light does so knowing that our Father above is watching what they do. This comes from a letter from our friend, John.
I finally pick out an eatery, which is really just a store front with no doors, a bustling wait staff, and, again, chairs that come up about mid-calf. A familiar ring sounds and I pick up my phone to see that my friend Cody* would like to share breakfast with me! This type of impromptu invitation has become the new norm. Planning for a day is now a luxury from the past and something that keeps every day exciting! We find a spot together and sit down. We talk about his day, practicing my new learned foreign words, and probing deeper to see where our Father has softened his heart so I can speak truth into him. I slurp up the remains of my noodle soup and we say our goodbyes, until the next time we see each other. Maybe he could show me around the city, he says. I reply that I would really enjoy that. As I walk away, I look to our Father above and ask that he would bless our interaction in the future, that he would soften Cody’s heart and give me the words to speak into him. A warmth surrounds me when I glance over to see that Cody is still watching as I leave.
Each day is filled with new experiences and I can’t write a complete typical day. We make an effort here not to get in a routine. We seek not to become complacent and try to make a constant effort at reaching out to the lost people around us. I thank God for the way that he has been blessing this people group and those that came here before me. I also ask that He could continue to sustain and support me each day. May He keep me focused on Him and may I never forget who is doing the work out here (spoiler: it isn’t me). And finally, I ask that He would be working in my friends here.