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REFLECTIONS

We’ve been living in a new country for 7 months now! As we consider the life decisions that have landed us on the other side of the world, and how we’re doing amidst them, we’re overwhelmed mostly with gratitude. Our timing was interesting… I mean, nobody planned for us to be moving abroad amidst a pandemic. Or trying to learn a new language with masks and restrictions and lockdowns getting in the way. Or for one of our parents to get diagnosed with cancer. But we have been consistently surprised by blessing along the way and despite the unique challenges of this season, we are on our feet. So here are a few reflections 7 months in:

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What did you say?

That’s probably a constant refrain in our minds these last few weeks. Mid-November, we jumped into a language immersion program, which means we’ve been living with a national family in a small flat in a city 2x the size of NYC. The goal? Get lots of conversations/listening all in our new language (read very, very little English.) Secondary goals were to learn more about daily life here and explore this city (which will be helpful for future travel for work!) And though we’re definitely not catching the entirety of every conversation, we’re listening. We’re slowly learning and trying out new words, sentences, grammar structures.

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BIG MONTH OF NEWS

We’ve got a month of big updates to share!

LANGUAGE STUDY:

We are in full time language study right now with a private tutor since the language school in our city is currently closed due to COVID. Recently, we found out about an immersion program in another city where we will live with a national family for a couple months. This includes: 

  • 4 hrs of language study each day 
  • Live with a local family and get lots of language time and cultural training
  • Learn how to navigate this new city (which will be really helpful as Nick will likely end up coming back for crisis counseling sessions)
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WHY HERE?

Just popping over here to say if you don’t get our monthly emails, you might have missed our latest video giving you a walking tour of our city.

WHY ARE WE IN THIS CITY SPECIFICALLY?

Great question 🙂 This location was picked VERY SPECIFICALLY by those where dreaming about an international counseling center for workers in this part of the world. They were looking for a place that:

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GRATEFUL FIRST STEPS

We arrived August 30 in our new country and dove right in. Honestly, things have mostly gone much smoother than we anticipated! We have an apartment that is restful and will give us space to share with others living in this city and visitors who come. We are in the process of going to lots of little government offices, stocking an apartment with furniture and all the things you need to live and just started back (a little) to language.

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COVID CHRONICLES CONTINUE

“I really wish you an ever deeper peace. I know that peace quite often lives underneath the turmoils and anxieties of our hearts and doesn’t always mean inner harmony or emotional tranquility. That peace that God gives us quite often is beyond our thoughts and feelings, and we have to really trust that peace is there for us to claim even in the midst of our moments of despair.” 

Henri Nouwen

God’s timing isn’t always ours and we’re getting good lessons in that these days. In case you don’t get our emails, we just wanted to share an update here. We are delayed a little further due to COVID in our travels and were not able to travel on August 1 like we’d planned. We are hoping we can travel soon, but are keeping plenty busy here in the meantime.

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