Halfway up Realization Road

Written by Alena Xuan, Veritas student in Chile! Alena is a student at the University of Pittsburgh in studying Spanish & Portuguese. She is studying abroad not to just learn a language but learn a culture and other way of life as well.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, more embarrassing moments than I count…

With all of that, today I mark my halfway point in the program!

And with my halfway point, comes more things to be understood.


A couple posts ago I wrote about the woman at the well. But for some reason, I stopped writing right before the most important part of the entire story, (at least, in my opinion).

So in John 4 so far, the woman has met Jesus at a well and He has told her everything that she’s ever done. And that He is Jesus Christ.

So she is convicted.

Verse 28 says, “Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went to the people and the town…” So right then and there, this woman left everything she had to go and tell her people about her conversion.

She gave up her water jar, her life, because without water you cannot live, to go and bring her own people, the ones that probably condemned her behavior, so that they too can come to Jesus.

Verse 39 says that “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.”

So let’s stop here. She gave up everything, left everything to go immediately. And it worked. People believed in Jesus Christ because she was bold enough to tell them the truth. To tell them what was now her reality.


And then in verse 42, the story becomes so incredibly powerful. “They (the Samaritans) said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world’.”

The longer I’m here in Chile, the more important I realize that it is to own my calling.

That it’s so necessary that this conviction that these people share is the exact same one that I have every single second of every single day.

have heard for myself. And now it’s my turn to be the woman at the well and tell others my testimony so that they can have their own.

This is a story I wish that I would have paid more attention to in high school because I feel like I’m actually learning it for the first time here. And I feel like there is so much to be learned.

That we are each the woman at the well because this story covers so many stages of our lives. The stages of aggravation, exhaustion, conviction, excitement and so many more…

And these are all stages that are so easy to feel here away from everything that I’ve ever known. It’s so easy to get angry and frustrated with things here, but it’s also so easy to see God’s hand in my life every day I arrive safely to school.

Living abroad is not easy. This is not the vacation I thought it would be 72 days ago.

But this is also the experience that I needed for so many reasons.

God has blessed me in my time here, but the one thing that He’s blessed me with that I cannot even begin to describe is the opportunity to own my calling and who I am in Jesus Christ.

Because in my redemption, I am free.

I wrote before that I am not the same person I was 72 days ago, and I can tell you again that it is an incredibly true statement.

Looking back, I can’t believe that I’ve honestly survived this long. I thought that while I was sitting in the Pittsburgh airport watching my flight get delayed and then canceled that this would be a trip destined for destruction.

But God has been very, very good to me here. I believe that prayer can move mountains and change hearts, and I’m sitting here feeling the ground move around me and knowing that my heart has been changed here.

So thank you for all of your prayers, because I’m pretty sure that they’re working.

Please continue to pray that as the last half of this adventure continues that I can learn more because I certainly need to.



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