then it started. these repeating voices. coming from different places, but all saying the same thing in various ways. they all reminded me of the same 2 things.
1) God told me to come here with a purpose for me here- there is a task for me in this city
2) God told me to come here to teach me- most lessons worth learning are usually hard
it might be possible that the second of the two was the greater reason for God bringing me to this city.
i moved out here knowing that this was going to be challenging. i was going to have to give stuff up. i was going to have to trust God to provide. i was changing cultures and that is always work. yet, i believed this city was a teacher and i thought i was ready to learn.
i have lived here for 5 months now and it is very true: the city is a teacher. it teaches you to be humble and accept help. it teaches you to work hard and want it bad enough to keep going. it teaches you to live simply, because if you don't save every penny you can you will never make rent. it teaches you that God will provide for the calling that has brought you here.
it teaches you to push into life.
these lessons come in all forms. the city is loosing its shock value. today i saw someone pull a knife on another person and a dead body on the street where i live. i also saw a performance put on by an after school program that reflected hard work, dedication, love, and hope for the future. i had a conversation with a woman who believes that her mother was probably brought to this country as a domestic slave. her mother lived in silence in this country, no one seems to have cared, it happened before caring about trafficking was sexy. STILL i have hope because i also spoke with a friend over breakfast about how we have to do something about slavery and there was an energy there that can only lead to action.
the city is a paradox. in this place there is peace and violence. celebration and mourning. freedom of expression and inhumane slavery. the city is all of life crammed unto 7x7.