Written by Fall 2015 Chile student, Alena Ricci, from University of Pittsburgh. See her other posts on https://thealenaxuan.wordpress.com! Check out the Chile program she experienced here.
Right now, in between 15 page single-spaced papers in Spanish and hour long presentations, I’ve realized a couple very important things in my life here in Chile, and I think it’s now appropriate to share them.
As my time is winding down very quickly that I’m not processing what is actually happening, God has not stopped teaching me things.
23 days is not a time limit to God, but a time to just show me more.
So, without further a do, here is a non-definitive list of what I’ve learned here in Chile:
- God has chosen me and redeemed me. Me. God chose me to do something, even though I don’t know what that “something” is. This person with no real special talents, average intelligence and a weird obsession with contemporary poetry…me. God’s love is this crazy powerful force that transforms and moves my life, and I don’t understand grace, but He gives it to me anyways.
- God is not a God of confusion. Being here, I feel like I’m on an emotional rollercoaster literally every second of my life. And that causes a lot of confusion. But it is not from God. What is from God is the clarity with which I can look through the fog and see Him.
- God has blessed me tremendously. Looking at my life in Pittsburgh from a continent away gives it a whole other meaning. I miss (almost) everything. My home, my church, my school (H2P). I miss my morning commute on the buses in the middle of the city. I miss the comfortable feeling of Sunday mornings. I miss listening to my sister tell me all the gossip of her third-grade class at 10:00 at night while I’m trying to write a paper. I still don’t know where God is calling me to be, but I do know that what He has given me is a gift that I don’t deserve.
- God has done, is doing and will do amazing things. I know what I have experienced. I know what I am experiencing. And I do not know what I will experience, but I have every confidence int eh God of the universe, the One who created me in His image, to make my life into what He wants it to be.
- I need God very, very badly. I need Him when I’m crossing the street, when I’m sleeping, when I’m eating, when I’m breathing…the list could go on and on. I need Him when I don’t think I need Him. I need Him every second. He is literally keeping my heart beating, and therefore, my very core needs Him.
- I am very, very loved and I do not deserve any of it. I must talk about my real family and my church family all of the time because my friends here have started referring to them as I do. The other day, I was telling a friend about an e-mail I had gotten from someone in McKees Rocks and she said, “Wow. I can’t believe how much people care about you. The people who love you–they love you immensely. Do you know what I would give for just my own immediate family to ask me how I’m doing and send me a Bible verse? And you have people not even related to you doing that.”
- Everything is a learning moment. Nothing in life is coincidence, and every second is a moment for me to learn more of who I should be in my calling. No matter how painful, uncomfortable or just plain miserable I may be, I can still learn. God is still talking to me, and listening to His voice is what should be happening.
So this is it. This list is just a sneak into what my experience in Chile has been like. Yes, I’ve read a lot of literature, poetry and history. I’ve seen a lot of beaches and embarrassed myself time and time again. I’ve experienced earthquakes, tsunamis, monsoons and (almost) volcano eruptions.
And God has been faithful and brought me through everything to this point where I can give Him all the glory for preserving me and teaching me so much.
I am currently exhausted and this is not an easy life to live here. It is not easy to feel like a foreigner in the country that was supposed to be my home.
But God is good.
God is very, very good
Want to hear more about this program and how you can experience it?! Look here for the details!