Guys, this is a very late update but I made it to IHOPU! Yay Jesus!
On August 10, 2018, I landed in Kansas City, Missouri, started school on August 20 and I’ve been attending IHOPU since. I made it – thank God! In the 11th hour, God made the financing work out so now I’m here. Talk about adjustments – from easy, breezy Caribbean, eternal summer (more or less) to the Midwest and her schizophrenic weather patterns, lol. (I kid you not, in November one Saturday was 63 degrees F and the next day there was a snow blizzard – I witnessed that craziness).
I have tried to write this post 4 times since last year and each time I didn’t know how to describe the enormity of this life change. Here’s one thing – I terribly underestimated culture shock, LOL. And I’m still getting a handle on it because it has different faces – sometimes I’m lethargic, sometimes I’m angry, sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I feel lonely, sometimes I’m sick, sometimes it’s all of the above and most of the time, culture shock manifests because I feel foreign. And by foreign I mean, I feel like there’s a whole lot of normal stuff that’s normal to everyone else that isn’t normal to me. And while that’s true, it can be annoying (to say the very least).
I say all that to say that a great deal of my time here in KC has been about adjusting. Thankfully I’m getting better at it. Amidst all of the adjustments though, I’ve been learning to love this place – physically, emotionally, spiritually (you get the point) that the Lord has me in. For one, being in the US means I get to cook more things that I’ve always been curious about :-). This month I learned to make pasta from scratch from an Italian – yup! That’s happened 🙂
But aside from the foodie benefits – being at IHOPU means I’m in a community that prioritises worship and meeting Jesus. It also means I get to meet people from all over the world with surprisingly similar values for their lives as mine. That’s one of the most amazing things about being here. Yes, I’m Jamaican and different here but while I’m different, I’m not that different because this is the one place I’ve been where being an intercessory missionary (or aspiring to be one) is normal 🙂 Being here also means I’m in a place to learn from and live among people who’ve worked in a house of prayer for years, for many at least a decade. I’m learning from them how to remain tenderhearted before the Lord because it can be so easy to miss (because one’s occupation is worshipping, it can be assumed that one’s heart is open to the Lord when sometimes it just isn’t). Being here also means I get to grow musically (cuz while a clean heart before the Lord is THE priority, these people at IHOPU are not into sloppy-ness either).
So last semester was hard – hard but good. I’ve struggled to say that because there are many days when I forget the “but good” part (my friends can you tell you that’s real, lol). And when it comes to talking about a missionary’s experience, there is a real question – how much do I say? I’m learning the whole truth, not just the parts that are easy to say or hear but all of it. So, I’ll admit that while it’s been hard, it’s also been good and it remains good but hard. And maybe that’s just life on this side of eternity – hard but good, good but hard. And maybe that’s one more vivid reminder for us not to get too comfortable being on earth because it’s fallen at the moment and the Redeemer is coming. But until then, we groan, we wait, we act, we live with this knowledge.
One day, I should post the actual story of how I got here but I wanted to let the blogosphere know I’m alive and well – even though it’s not smooth sailing by any means. But God is good. God is faithful – I have everything I need and more 🙂 I’m meeting and making friends with cool people from all over the world who love Jesus 🙂
So, when you do remember me – please say a prayer for me. There are quite a few pots on the fire – a product of being an international missionary over here + school work + taking care of myself. This semester we’ve been assigned to worship teams and sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m learning some technical music things but I’ve been given some tips by my classmates and I’ve also been told I’m doing well (thank God). But there’s never too much prayer.
Despite the cold, I am well. I’m coming to a new found gratitude for the weather back home (or any day that’s over 50 degrees F) – hehehe. Thankfully, no matter what’s going on, I am well.
Until next time,