Orientation has come and gone. I feel so ready and so completely unready all at the same time. Ready to finally embark on this journey that had been the vision of the last 2 years, but still wondering how I will even begin to figure out what accompaniment, God's mission, solidarity, and the several other values that I now hold so dearly to my heart look like on the ground.
We hop on a shuttle to the Chicago O'Hare airport at 6am to board a flight headed to Seoul, South Korea before landing in Kota Kinabalu on the 23rd. One week of Orientation in KK and then we are off to the big city of Kuala Lumpur for 2 weeks of intensive Malay language classes. Tonight I go to bed filled with the blessings that this week has been and the support of the loving communities who have stood alongside me through my life. Thank you for filling me.
This past week we heard so many inspiring words it is hard to share just a few, but these particularly struck me.
“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?
It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.
I want to repeat one word for you:
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.” Donald Miller
Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the state of Sabah (on the island of Borneo to the East), which is where I will be spending my year.