There are many different types of tension that I am thinking of behind this blog post.

One of which relates to cultural differences that are had to get used to. As I write this, I am sitting in a little lofted restaurant and there is only room for three little groups to sit here. In this kind of setting in the United States, people might be talking, but if they were listening to music or watching something, they would use headphones. Some people sitting by me are listening to the radio loudly from a cell phone…something incredibly common here that has been wearing at me for a while now.

Another tension is being so close to the end of the program that some students are more focused and dedicated, and others are beginning to check out. As a leader, at times it’s hard to not checkout when students do because it seems that there is no point if they don’t care, but I’ve done my best to encourage them to finish strong.

There is also the tension that obviously comes from being in close proximity with people of different personalities constantly with small pockets of breathing room and alone time. It’s hard to be a peacemaker when you’re under pressure and stressed out, but it’s what we’re called to. Realistically, Jesus was the ultimate peacemaker under the ultimate pressure…can we really complain about our stresses? I don’t mean that quite so literally…we can complain about our stressed and God does understand, but we need to remember that he truly does understand to a level we will (thankfully) never experience ourselves.

However, within all of the tension, there is much to be thankful for and much that God is doing to help.

The program is coming to an end and although there will be more stress with missions far away and such, there are pockets of relaxation. I get to take a short trip with Lesley to Rwanda tomorrow for the weekend and visit some friends, and after the program ends there is time to rest.

I am excited about getting home and seeing everyone, doing our little tour through the states we’ve lived in, and of course getting married, but this is where God has us right now and I’m okay with that. I do want to be home quite often, especially with Lesley, but I am thankful for my time here.

God has blessed me so much with a fiancee who encourages me regularly to be as invested as possible in the program in our time left, although it occasionally is at her expense. I am also very thankful for fellow leaders who understand the difficulty of being in a different town (though the same country) when we will be married in under 5 months. My roommate and fellow leaders and amazing and the students I work with are incredible as well.

God has blessed me with some pretty incredible people in my life. Thank you for being one of them, whether you’re from home or you’re here with me šŸ™‚

God bless you.

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