Asking Questions

In this three-part series, Rebecca shares what she’s learned about ministry and making connections, motherhood and following her dreams—all while depending on God. 

 

The tea my neighbor had served me was still too hot to drink and I’d already run out of things to say. I peeked in my bag.

“What happens on your favorite holiday?” I asked, looking at a question from my language school book.

Rebecca and Brad during language school.

Rebecca and Brad during language school.

It was one of many questions I’d ask over the years as I got to know my new home, covering cultural topics, family issues, and eventually, going deeper—dreams, concerns, fears. Some of my other American friends had babies that filled the awkward silences with new friends, bridging the cultural gap with an adorable, toothless smile.

I had my questions.

During those early years, I carried other questions—personal ones—with me, too. Will I find a close friend here? How can I be connected to the flying work here? What causes the poverty? What can I do about it? Will this ever be home?

Over the years, I chose different things to fill my day and answer my questions. Friend question? Going jalan jalan with the young woman I met at the ice cream stand. What can I do to help? Weighing babies at a neighborhood clinic or teaching English to kids at the orphanage. Connected to Brad’s flying work? Visiting the sick patients he’d bring in from remote villages.

Rebecca teaching English.

The longer we stayed, the deeper the friendships got. But the questions only increased. I sometimes saw suffering, experienced loss, felt constantly inadequate, wondered about how God and grace fit with the hard stuff.

A day at the beach with friends.

A day at the beach with friends.

And that was before I started having my babies, inviting vulnerability, fears and new questions into my life. (See next post for more on motherhood and ministry.)

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have so many questions…wish I had more answers to the problems, more solutions in the struggles. But I don’t know how to do life, or ministry, or motherhood, or friendship without them.

The questions have taught me how to be curious, how the curiosity invites creativity, how the answers people give stir deeper empathy with me, how my faith grows as I wonder.

The answer to the question about how to make this place home? Keep asking.

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