In-home ESL

Yesterday I was able to go to a woman’s home and practice English with her and her children. She is a young woman that never got to complete school in her own country. She knows a decent amount of English already, but she does not have the confidence to go out and use it. I really loved going and spending time with her and her children. She is such a generous and kind woman, and I can see us being good friends. Her children are full of energy and a lot of fun to hang out with. This experience caused me to think about how I want to do this in the future. I want to work with refugee women and children to help them learn English and gain confidence to go out and be a part of their new communities. I don’t know what this will look like, but I think this is something that I want to work towards. I want to do anything I can to help them succeed where they are and show them that they are welcome here.

Much love, B

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Mosque Visit

As a part of the internship program I am in, we learn about other world religions. We read the Qur’an, and then we took a visit to a Mosque last Friday. Friday is their day to come together and pray. I have been to a mosque before, but this visit was different because the message was in Arabic and English. I did not expect to be able to understand any of it, so as soon as the Imam started speaking in English I was surprised. The Imam said that they give the message in English because they have Muslim people from various places around the world with varying levels of Arabic. They want to incorporate the local language into their message. Since I have been to a mosque before, I knew about the cleansing before entering the sanctuary, the removing of shoes, and the separation of men and women in the room. I expected those things. The people were very welcoming and friendly, which I also expected.

Something that stood out to me was the emphasis on deeds. I’ve read about this concept in the Qur’an, but actually hearing about it confirmed the importance of good deeds to Muslim people. The Imam talked about patience and perseverance, and that if you display these characteristics then you will receive rewards. He also talked about people preparing for Ramadan (fasting). He said that if they volunteered during Ramadan and helped other people fast then they would multiply their reward by however many people they helped. There really was a strong emphasis placed on doing good deeds so that you get rewarded in Heaven.

Much love, B

Heart and Hands

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Today at our morning meeting, people wrote down a word to describe me. Then they all explained why they wrote that word and then prayed over me. I’ve got to say it was a lovely way to start the day! I love that people see confidence in me because there was a time where that was not the case. It shows the work that God has done in my life. I love that someone wrote bright laughter and said that the room lights up when I smile because that is what my mom always tells me. I love that someone said that I have a heart to see needs, and then I do something about them. I pray that this would continue to be the case.

Much love, B

1 John 2:6

I was reading 1 John today, and I came across this verse that stood out to me:

“This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

This caused me to think about the ways that I can live more like Jesus lived.

Well what would that look like? How did Jesus live?

Jesus was a humble person. He was constantly serving other people. He was constantly glorifying God. He was constantly preaching the Gospel. He prayed frequently. He sacrificed himself for others. He always showed love and compassion towards others. Everything he did flowed out of love. He respected everyone, even the people that others did not respect. He valued everyone.

There are many other things that Jesus did as well, but this is a good start for thinking about this verse and how I can live as Jesus did. I want to embody these things. I want to be a humble person. I want to preach the Gospel to people. I want to serve people. I want to sacrifice my time and my money and anything else I can for other people. I want to do everything out of love. I want to value and respect everyone, even the people that society views as less than. I want everyone to come and sit at my table. I want to grow in compassion and love for others. And I want to grow in my relationship with my Father.

Much love, B

Joy

The title of my blog is finding joy every day. I chose this because I think it is an important part of living life. It is important to find joy every day regardless of the things that are going on. There were a few years in my life that I suffered from depression and didn’t feel like I had any joy day in and day out. I genuinely believe God brought me out of that and restored me to full joy. Since then I have been a very joyful person, and have been able to find joy every day. Over the past few weeks though I feel like I have been ping-ponging back and forth between having joy and not having it. I’m not really sure of the reason for this, but I know that I am not my normal self, even if I put on a good front for the people around me.

I am currently praying this verse from Romans 15:13…

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

I am praying that God would fill me again with joy that is overflowing. I want to once again have joy that spills over into other people’s lives. And I can be confident and trust that this will happen.

Much love, B

Grandparent Time

My grandparents are here!! Yay! They brought a bunch of yummy British goodies with them, which is always amazing. It is really good to be with them again. I only get to see them twice a year because they live in England. They only come for 1 week, but I love the time that I get with them. My family is very close even though we live so far from one another, so it feels good when we are all together. We have a lot of fun together, and we all enjoy each other’s company.

It’s one of those things that I wish was different. I wish that we lived in the same place so that I could see them all the time, but unfortunately that has not been the case since I was a very little girl. So it just means that I have to make the most of my time with them when I get it! And that is exactly what I am doing!

Much love, B

Things I’ve Learned

My internship that I am a part of is about to come to an end on May 18th! There is only one month left, and it made me think about how much I’ve changed and how much I’ve learned because of being here. We’ve had lots of classes and readings where I’ve learned about discipleship, church planting, language acquisition, traveling, Mormonism, Islam, communication, hermeneutics, cross-cultural contextualization, etc. I have definitely expanded my knowledge in all of these areas and could list off lots of things I now know because of those activities, but the biggest thing I am coming away with from my experience here is how to love people better.

Because of this internship I have interacted with lots of people that are different from me. I have had the opportunity to learn alongside people that speak a different language than me, that practice a different religion than me, or that are a part of a different culture than me. These experiences alone have been important because I have made friends with people that I might not have outside of this internship. I have learned to love people just for the sake of loving them, and I have learned how to communicate well with people different from me.

This internship has also given me greater compassion for people around the world. It has given me greater compassion for refugee people. It has given me greater compassion for homeless people. And it has given me greater compassion for those that have no access to the Gospel.

I know how to love and serve people better because of being a part of this internship, and I think that is the most valuable lesson I have learned from being here.

Much love, B

I saw a quote today that said, “Faith is like WiFi. It’s invisible, but it has the power to connect you to what you need.”

While I understand the meaning behind this quote…that’s a scary thought if it’s like the WiFi at my office, because that Wifi is always having problems and is not reliable. Maybe you will be able to connect and maybe you won’t. We have to restart it all the time. It’s like a game…will we or won’t we have working WiFi today?

Thank goodness it’s not actually like that with God 🙂

Much love, B