Our first month is about over and we have learned much and been challenged a lot throughout these past few weeks. Upon arriving, we found the schedule to be quite full, but we were still getting to know people and Elias was having a blast. I, Jess, was having a little bit of a more difficult time adjusting back to the rigorous Harrisburg Discipleship Center (HDC) schedule. Having been here before, it was a bit of a challenge to adjust back to community living and having all my days scheduled out for me. As we began to adjust however, it became a bit easier for me, but we also began to feel the strain of the lack of time with each other. This has been a good lesson in figuring out our boundaries and that we need to put our relationship before our ministry. During our first year of marriage we stepped down from our church responsibilities so we did not encounter this that much, but we feel that it is good for us to learn this now before we get on the field because it is likely that we will encounter having to set boundaries in ministry at that time as well.
But, on a more positive note, now that we have set more boundaries and found more ways for Elias and I to spend time together, we are developing some amazing new relationships with the other participants in the house. We are also learning a lot about God and listening to His voice. We are finding that we are being stretched and challenged through teachings on the Holy Spirit, dying to self, spiritual warfare, prayer, spiritual streams and other areas that we will be able to take with us to the Gambia and throughout the rest of our lives.
Also, this morning, we found some amazing language study tools that we will be using to learn Mandinka, which is one of the three different language that we may be learning and using. We can now greet each other, which is very important in Gambian culture, and makes us very excited.
I feel like this post is a bit all over the place, but I haven't updated the blog in awhile and I don't want it to be so long that it is unreadable. If you have any questions please feel free to ask! Blessings to all of you!