Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Spanish/Turkish dinner, New friends, The world...

Last night was lovely indeed. Our dear foreign friends extended a special invitation for us to join them for dinner. Meagan and I went and upon ariving we discovered that 2 of them were picked up by their supervisor and transported somewhere else, no telephone, no car or means of transportation and no one knew where they had been taken to. I was quite sad, it was Martha and Alberto. When they invited us for dinner they had expected Martha to do the cooking seeing that she is the only one who knew how. I imagine they went into some sort of panic mode when they awoke to learn they had been taken somewhere different. That would be so sad.

When Meagan and I arrived they told us of the sad news but reassured us that they had attempted to make something very special for us. Santiago kept stating that he had no experience in cooking and he was probably not very good but he did his best. It was absolutely adorable. Haha, he said, "If you no like, it no bad. I will understand. You no have to eat." I promise you that, that little guy is the one of happiest, most joyful and life filled people I have ever met. So, they sat us down at their little table and persisted to serve us a concoction of rice, cut up turkey (lunch meat mind you) and eggs. It wasn't bad, a little bland but not bad at all. He was very excited to hear that we liked it. I felt like I was on a missions trip. Isabel came as well and brought another friend from turkey and her name was Feyza. Sweet, sweet girls. They have to leave soon because they lost their jobs here and they kept saying how sad they were to have only met us just now. I loved being able to chat with them. Meagan prepared a delicious cake and they were all going on and on about how amazing it was. It was so refreshing to be around such grateful and genuinely nice people. I could've sat there all night and talked to them. We talked about faith, food, cultures etc. and laughed immensely at the many stories Santiago told us.

It was a very good time. I thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity of it. I just felt so humbled as they served us and treated us as if we were so important. I almost felt bad. It was a wonderful night and I felt like I was in another country which was exciting. I feel like my desire to travel and do missions has intensified, it's always been there and it's always intrigued me but this week it's almost like God has began speaking to me little by little before I leave for Mexico. Who knows what will happen while I'm there. Don't be surprised if I don't come back :) Everytime I go on a missions trip and develop relationships with people it SO difficult to have no idea. I cry my eyes out every time. It's amazing how in just one week you can develop one of the most precious and beautiful relationships with people, almost like you have the same spirit and it's as if you've known each other forever even if you can't speak each other's language clearly. I love how God does that, it's so amazing.

However, I think it's amazing how He's allowing me to cross paths with people here whom I can develop friendships with and minister to. I can't imagine how hard it would be to come here as a foreigner (legally), speaking broken english and not understanding anything half of the time, no family, not many friends and no means of communication and transportation in a big world who didn't understand me half of the time. I honestly don't know if I could do it. Our culture is not very accepting of others. However many other cultures are very accepting of ours. When I went to Mexico last year they were so very welcoming and loving as they made me feel so at home in every aspect. We're no like that so much here in America. In fact, we kind of look down on them and think that they are not so smart as we talk really loud to them as if they are a child. It's wrong and it makes me so upset. I have learned a lot from my new friends and I am so happy to have met them. They are so grateful for the little that they have, they are hard workers as they rise at 3 or 4 am to ride their bikes to work only to make a measly $7 an hour at McDonalds and they take pride in their jobs. They are full of life and contagious joy and they delight in the company of friends. Santiago said to Meagan and I last night, "I miss Ecuador but when I meet friends like you, I do not miss Ecuador." I was so touched by those few words. I pray that God continues opening my eyes and bringing people into my life who can teach me something and whom I can teach something to.

Right now, I just want to pack up my bags and head out into this big world, taste all there is to taste, see all there is to see, meet many different people and encounter many different cultures! I guess I'll start in Mexico in 2 days! I can hardly contain my excitement!

Thank you Lord for reminding me. You're so good.

-Amber Denae

Look out world, here I come!


Jessica said...

Other cultures just take my breath away. It reminds me of the vastness of the world and that we're so closedminded in how we constantly think our way is the only way to do things. I love to meet people from other cultures and talk with them - I admire the courage and drive they have. It infuriates me that Americans are so negative about other cultures and other people. I could go on and on............

AmberDenae said...

Jessica, I totally and completely agree with you! It is sad how close-minded we can be. I love when I have the opportunity to show them that we are not "all" like that.

Andrea said...

Where in Mexico are you going? I went on two mission trips to Reynosa (right over the border) in high school and know EXACTLY the feeling you are talking about. After one week, I felt as though I knew those people my entire life. I suppose this is a glimpse of heaven...worshipping and praising and fellowshipping with other Christians, although never saying good bye.

Some of my best memories were in Mexico. I miss those days. It's been on my heart to pray for God's guidance for my husband and I regarding mission trips. My hubby has the "I'm not good enough" mentality and I keep reminding him God uses the weak to do great things. Pray for us..that God would move our hearts if it's in His will.

I could go on and on about my mission trips. Such good times. We must exchange stories sometime :-D