I know that community is a powerful thing, but I am learning it in new ways.
Our flight out of Chicago was at 10:15 pm and we flew all night long to arrive in Germany at 1:30 pm. Many people slept, or at least got a nap in...I tried very hard. I switched into every position possible to get comfortable. I was normal, cross legged, curled up, backwards, nearly upside down, on the floor, standing, kneeling, and backwards kneeling while hugging the back of my seat. I could NOT sleep. Then I leaned into Abby to rest my head, and boom I was out (at least for 45ish minutes). I realized that although I wanted to desperately be able to function independently and not invade anyone's small space on the plane, I needed to, and was welcomed to.
In that moment on the plane I realized the power of leaning. I can't do it alone, no matter how hard I try. :) I need the community that is around me. That is also a blessing about having orientation, out of country and in-country. There is this time to build up community to lean on, for sleep and support. None of us can do it alone and are blessed with so many different communities to lean on. I am really excited to meet the community that I will be living with this year. It will be many different emotions trying to feel out everything, but I know that I will rejoice in those moments when God shows me that I can't do it by myself and blesses me with people who will help to hold my hand, feed me knowledge, and give me a shoulder to rest on.
During in-country orientation we have been building community and journeying together as we take in all that is around us. We have been processing things that surprise us, things that were different than we had expected, and things we experience. Johannesburg is a great example. It is a city. Sometimes we forget that Africa is bigger than just the African plains with zebras, lions, and giraffes. There are many more that we have discussed and we continue to have our eyes opened to new things. May God bless us with eyes to see and minds to be open to understanding--turning judgement into wonder.