The Unexpected

Well I have officially been at Jumpah for one week! And what a week it has been.

I’m going to be completely honest and say that it has been a really rough adjustment so far. I expected homesickness, but not to this degree. I expected stomach troubles, but not this soon. I expected loneliness, but not this bad. I’ve never experienced anything like this.

I enjoy working on the farm, and I always love learning a new culture. My living situation, while different from home, is fine. There is delicious fruit here, and playing with the resident children encourages me.

But this is much different from what I expected. I was told that most people here speak English, so I would likely not feel lonely or isolated. However, it turns out that the two women I work most with don’t speak any English. For me, the joy in ag is not just growing things but developing deep relationships with those I work alongside. Many of the staff speak a little English, but they eat separately from us and go home in the evenings. One of my main reasons for coming here was to be able to have spiritual conversations, but this has been difficult with the language barrier.

I don’t remember as much ag as I wish I did, but it is coming back and I am learning a lot just working on the farm. I can definitely see why a masters in program development is helpful, and grad school looks more and more appealing. That being said, I’m also realizing that it’s not so much what you do but how you do it and how you relate to the people around you that matters.

Expectations have been pretty unclear here, and without the missionaries on site we volunteers just kind of come up with our own jobs and tasks. Thankfully with ag I can learn simply by following the other farm workers around and joining them in their work. I love the other volunteers here, and they have provided much needed community. It will be hard when they leave for sure.

So that’s a little snapshot of the heart and mind of Anna. I know God is here with me, but it can be hard to feel his peace. So please be praying for God to give me peace and joy here, as only He can provide that through the Spirit. And pray for me to be patient with my adjustment here.



5 thoughts on “The Unexpected

  1. Mike Berk once told me that expectations are predispositions for bitterness. I’m so sorry to hear that it’s been so different from what you expected; I’ll be praying for your to fight hardness of heart and bitterness, sweet girl! May God bless this new job/home in completely unexpected ways!

  2. Thanks for sharing your struggles and your joys Anna. Being stretched is difficult as is the unexpected. You are an amazing young woman who loves and serves an awesome God. You’ve got this! Sending love and hugs, Pattie

  3. Hi Anna
    Grampa and I can totally understand. We’ve been in enough foreign places and not able to express ideas. This kind of reminds us of your Mom in Neauchatel. Abandoned.
    But with God He has planted you there for a reason. Hard at this point to see the big picture.
    I am fervently keeping you in prayer that you can focus on the day by day, the small triumphs.
    Thank you for your heartfelt honesty. We love you so so much!!

    Gramma and Grampa xxx

  4. It is so wise to be honest and put your prayer needs out there. I will definitely pray for your situation and keep you close on my heart. I pray the Lord will send you an English speaking friend, however it might work there, so you will not be so lonesome. It is great that you are getting insight about ag and I pray the Lord gives you wisdom about schooling. I also pray that you will tolerate the foods and the heat etc. Here’s a big HUG!!!!!!!!!!! My love, Aunt Susan

  5. Praying for you. Yes startup in a new place and job can be really hard. I’ve realized I compare the new with what I just came from, ignoring the fact that the Lord spent years growing me into that last situation. Stay strong, be patient with yourself and the realities of this new place. You are uniquely qualified to do this work, and I believe the Lord will use you there.

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