What do you write about when everything has changed? When you are building a whole new network of relationships around you, when the nature of your life work is completely new, when you’re surrounded by an entirely different culture and language, when you are adjusting to a new life in every sense of the word – what do you write about?
This question is primarily why I have put off writing this blog post for so long. With so much happening and our brains processing so much, I barely know where to begin.
First, I have to know which store will have what I want – there isn’t a Walmart where I can find everything I need in one place. Next, I have to navigate the store to locate it, which is harder than it seems when you consider that everything is in a different language, items available are different brands in different packaging, and they don’t always organize things here the way we would there. Then, if I can’t locate said object (which is commonly the case), I have to find a store employee and ask them. In French. Here comes the tough part – if they do understand me, they may very well tell me where it is instead of leading me, which means I have to understand what they are saying for the exchange to be of any use.
I am thinking specifically of a time in the Carrefour grocery store when I was looking for lemon juice. The associate said to me something like “C’est pres du poisson.” Translation: It’s close to the fish. At any rate, perhaps you can begin to see how life here is an adjustment even in the small things.
It has been excellent, however, and we are unbelievably grateful to be here. We spent the last two weekends working with churches in Gamzovo, Bulgaria (pictures here) and Sobrance, Slovakia(pictures here), helping put on what we at Convoy of Hope call Community Events. This included meals, grocery hand-outs, Biblical messages, testimonies, music, games, and more. There were roughly 1,500 attendees in both villages combined and at each event there was an amazing response to the gospel. It was so exciting and incredibly humbling to be a part of. It’s not an easy experience to put into words..
Many of these people who have been living on the outskirts of Europe, have never heard the gospel before. They live in poverty, and in sometimes very hopeless situations. But God loves them, and is working for them, and that was evidenced by His spirit which was so clearly in those places these past two weekends.
Keep praying for us and for Europe. There is so much more to be done here!