Salatiga, Indonesia, is like a revolving door of people coming in and out to learn language. That’s where we’re living now, along with a few other MAF families. We are here to study language before heading off to our respective assignments. We’re all at different levels of culture shock and language learning. Some may have just arrived, while others are almost finished and are packing up their belongings to head to their new home.
Recently, we joined some of our teammates and hiked to a waterfall that is near our home. None of us had been there before so we were all exploring and finding our way for the first time. We didn’t know where the end of the trail and the reward of the waterfall would be. As we ascended a pretty steep hill, I watched as one person would lead for awhile and then take a break to the side. Then the next person would step forward and lead the way so the other could catch their breath.
As I watched this unspoken interaction, I was reminded that we’re all in this together. Not just in hiking, but also in everyday life. Each of us has struggled at different times and needs to take time to catch our breath. We become frustrated with culture or language. We get homesick. Someone catches a stomach bug and needs some extra help. We meet together every week to share our highs and lows. We celebrate each other’s victories and pray over our struggles.
When one of us is down, someone else steps forward to help guide the way. We need each other as we navigate this life God has called us to. We’re here to encourage each other by listening, relating, and sharing what we have with the other who has a need. I believe this is a beautiful picture of the way God intended the church to look.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. —Acts 2:44-46
I am especially thankful for this as we come into our first holiday season away from our loved ones. While our families back in America can never be replaced, I’m thankful we can share this time with our MAF family here. Highs and lows, victories and struggles; we’re all in this together.