When I first came back to the States, I wasn’t really sure of what to expect. I was pretty familiar with American culture, so I sure was glad there’s hardly any issue with culture shock. Serving the street youth and those with a drug addiction in America, now that’s really new to me. As a matter of fact, some of my family members and office coworkers really didn’t think this was a good idea in the beginning.
Yet, when I decided to just follow God’s will, I was really surprised at how smoothly it went and, how everything seems to just sort of fall in the right place. And the best thing is that for the first time in my life I have this feeling of peace and rest, just like in Hebrews 4:10-11, where we are called to cease from chasing after our own ambition and desire, and instead resting in doing His will.
I find American Christians very friendly & supportive in general, so I’m really glad and grateful to be accepted in every church I’ve visited so far. It’s always good and encouraging to find fellow believers wherever you are!
There’s one thing that surprised me: for the most part, the clients did not seem to notice that I’m from another country. Some clients did ask me about Indonesia and stuff, I’ll say about five out of a hundred. But overall, it’s as if I quickly became part of the scene. In general, street youth may develop feelings of mistrust against outsiders, so I was pleasantly surprised to be accepted pretty quickly. I’m guessing it’s because I’m with Terry and Street Youth Ministry who’ve been around for years and earn the trust of the street youth, so they quickly transfer their trust to me.
One thing that was tough for me is that to see some churches and Christians actually being more concerned with their own well-being, their own comfort and their own projects than concerned with helping the poor, fatherless, widows, etc. This is not just a problem in the States, similar things happens in Indonesia too; so it’s quite universal. On the other hand, it’s pretty gratifying to see some churches seriously taking their God-given mandate to help the poor; either by donating money and stuff, having soup kitchens or opening their space for activities.
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