How I hate to suffer! How I want to avoid it! And yet, suffering brings God glory. Somehow.
Sometimes I feel I don't fit in here. I don't get the jokes, and the 'chilenismos' and, as is normal in any place where you haven't grown up with the politics, TV and culture, I miss out on a lot of what would help in understanding the context. Sometimes I feel like a curiosity: ‘that gringa’ (foreigner), with whom people want to practice their English. Sometimes I just want to be a 'normal' person, whatever that could mean here!
But, as always, God’s Word and Spirit sustain me. Psalm 34:18 speaks very precisely into my situation, ‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’
When my hand allergy got worse and an old health issue seemed to be reappearing, and at work I felt isolated and lonely and people didn't seem to want to meet or commit, it was frustrating. But God showed me that I was trying to find my identity in my work, my perceived usefulness and value based on how much I do for Him. Please pray that I stick to the gospel, remembering who I am in Christ, and what God has created me for.
It doesn't mean that I will, in my time here, cease struggling with loneliness, or have deep friendships; it doesn't mean there will be lots of bible studies. But I do want this time to really count, for eternity. Please pray! Paul David Tripp writes in 'Dangerous Calling', ‘It is in the moments of hardship when what God is doing doesn’t make any sense that it is all the more important to preach to ourselves the gospel of his unshakable, unrelenting, ever-present care. He is actively caring for you and me even in those moments when we don’t understand his care and can’t figure out what he is doing.’
Written by former Crosslinks Mission Partner Leni Ledgister
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