اللغة العربية أو الإنجليزية

I truly thought I would be online again way before this. Oh well. So update number two comes halfway through the trip. Oops.  =)

In LA we had an incredible day. The Church on the Pearl was very gracious to us and picked us up at the airport at 5 am, let us crash in the fellowship hall, go about our day, and then took us back to the airport later that night. They were wonderful. We walked about 12 miles that day. The group hated me afterwards. =)  Three summers ago I was with a group in LA for the summer and my part of the team spent time in Venice Beach, so that is where I took the Jordan team. We spent time prayer walking the whole area before we did anything. The group immediately felt their hearts break for the amount of need for Truth, Hope and Love in that area. Afterwards we broke into groups of two and walked around initiating spiritual conversations with people there. It was really good for everyone. We feel strongly that God had purposed us to be there that day.

The next day we arrived at New York and met up with Arjay. We were picked up by some new friends and dropped off in a part of the Brooklyn area to help a new church plant. One of the churches main means of helping out the community is by taking care of one of the few parts of New York that isn’t concrete: a local park. The park is poorly understaffed and so we helped by cleaning it up. The community took a lot of notice and thanked the church. A few even took cards hoping to attend! After that we ate New York pizza in New York (WhAt?!) and then prayer walked the Arab community nearby. It was awesome!

Then came the 12 hour flight from New York to Jordan. It was long…even if you slept for a lot of it.

Then we landed. I was home. We spent the first day with my family. It was good for us to relax some and get to hear about our purposed here. We loved it. The next day we all split up. Amber is hanging out with a Christian girl in the capital(Amman), Arjay is hanging out with my Dad and getting to see different ministries here and meet different pastors, and the rest of us are up North bouncing between the village of Husun and the city of Irbid. We’re hanging out with the Christian college group here, getting to see their life, go to classes with them at their universities, and meet their friends. So far everyone has loved the food! Yay! It’s good because we haven’t had anything American yet. The people here are so wonderful. I love them so much. I miss my home.

The plan was for all of us to be paired with stronger English speakers for the week. Most of them speak decent English. However, since they know I speak Arabic many have decided to default in Arabic and have me translate for them. Let me tell you this: it has been six years since I have regularly used strong Arabic, six years that I’ve lost a lot of it, and even at my height I was never super confident; at least solely in Arabic. I think in what Arabs call Arabeezy and what Americans call Arabish. It means a combination of the two languages but not one or the other. I’ve had to put all of my words and efforts into just Arabic. This week has proven to me several things: 1) cultural immersion is the best way to learn a language. It’s possible my Arabic is better today than ever before. 2) Translating is an art form. Explaining cultural details and accurately defining words and actions takes time and care. 3) I love Arabic and learning the language. The more I learn the more I love. 4) Translating and/or functioning nearly completely in Arabic (since I’m only with the team members for a few hours a day)  is super exhausting. It’s hard for me to talk to the team in English right now because my current first instinct is Arabic, but even when I realize what is going on…I’m just tired. I sleep 8 hour nights and take 2 hour naps during the day.

I guess today is the halfway point in the total trip. We have two and a half more days in Jordan and then we leave. I’ll try to update again the day after tomorrow.

Love you all!

(Also, Katie, I miss being able to talk to you every day. It hurts not being able to.)

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