On any given day, I would consider myself an outgoing and friendly person. That is… until I arrived at my first stop of this Abante experience— Georgia. When I was able to see the vast differences between my personality and my colleagues’, I grew nervous. Would they like me? Were we even compatible? Could we minister together effectively? The more we talked, the more I realized how different we were, and it was intimidating. I’m not sure if it was a negative or positive reaction to things, but I began to speak less and listen more.
As we progressed through our first month, some of our sessions were heavily focused on culture shock; I learned about what it looked like and how to deal with it. It was obvious to me that this was not just preparing me for the future countries we would minister to, but for the colleagues I would minister with.
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 1 Corinthians 1:10
For so long I have lived inside of a bubble that only reaches Loop 1604, and now God is pushing me beyond. I am experiencing new views, cultures, and situations that are revealing more of His heart to me. As I prayed out all of my worries, God reminded me that he does not live solely within my city limits nor my culture; He fills the heavens and the earth; He is all around.
There is nothing more powerful than a group of believers united in mind and thought, regardless of cultural differences. The more time we spend together, the more we feel like a family— a very diverse family united by Christ. I am now my bubbly self again and those questions no longer flood my mind. Our differences do not fade, but instead complement each other. Today I can see past Loop 1604 and into the wide open spaces of unity amongst diversity.