Otherwise known as the skinny pepper country, or the land of some indiscernible dialect of I-think-that’s-Spanish, or World’s Best Example of Geographic Diversity… where I have taken up residence for the next four months.
One month has passed since I arrived in Santiago de Chile, and I feel like I’m finally starting to get adjusted to being here. I know where the nearest grocery store is, public transportation isn’t (as) terrifying, I found at least one vegetarian restaurant/coffee shop/clothing store that I can run to in a moment of need (hmm..weakness?), and I kind of, sort of know what’s going on in my classes. Bless my professors for recognizing me as a bewildered, helpless gringa and answering my questions after class. Also, I use Chilean catch phrases with regularity, tap water has finally lost its..unique..flavor, and best of all, El Oasis feels like a second home.
Walking down the street in Santiago regrettably does not feel safe and comfy cozy happy (don’t worry though, family, I’m doing fine). There are weird people everywhere, and there are definitely weird people here. But I know, no matter what’s going on, I can go to the ministry house and feel safe. I know people there. People that care about me, and about the other students that come to be fed – literally and spiritually – and loved. Boy, do they love. Their particular brand is still a mystery to me (how can they be so welcoming, so inclusive, so sincere, intense even?), but what a blessing to be a part of it!
Other beautiful development: friends. Making friends is hard. And that’s pretty much what I’m here for. Eek. (Okay, yes I should probably study too) But thank you Lord, I’m beginning to make connections. A museum trip, a lunch date at a vegetarian café, prayer over a physical condition… All unexpected but all loving proof that God wants specifically me here. That is, that I am best used by God when I am unafraid to be me. The best friendships are made that way, and I’m excited to see what God causes to blossom this semester.
If you’re keeping up with me and would like prayer requests…
- Please pray that I would continue to develop relationships with women at El Oasis and students that I meet at school, and that these relationships would go past surface level interactions.
- Pray that my stomach chills out. I’ve had nausea, cramping and overall sensitivity off and on since I arrived in Chile.
- Pray for my physical safety, and the safety/health of my ministry partner, Kelsey.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me – I ask that you continue, and I will be sure to update you all soon.