Well I am currently in the Mongolian airport still crying even though we said goodbye like 30 minutes ago or something. The personnel at security and immigration stared at me because I was a messy, teary-eyed foreigner who looked like she would explode. Safe to say that I super HATE goodbyes because I tend to sad cry than happy or angry cry, so this was my tear ducts’ moment to shine. We were all just joking around and laughing, but the second someone said it was time for goodbye the tears just started rolling. It was like a reflex. I even surprised myself which says a lot. The amount of sadness I have right now that I don’t know exactly when I will see this amazing host family again or see Grace again and laugh with her cannot be explained. I just reread Grace’s letter slowly and carefully. I will cherish it forever. I’m guessing I’ll reread it another 20 times before I step onto American soil again. And at first I thought the random paper she used was silly, but it’s so perfect. Reminds me of a lot of special moments I’ve had with her.
I am not sure when I will get wifi to publish this from my phone, but I do have some things I want to say as Gabe and I leave on our 31st day of this journey for debrief in Los Angeles.
1) People can have a tremendous effect on me. I don’t really remember the last time I cried this long and still feeling like I need a good heavy cry (what is preventing me now is that people have been staring at me). Maybe it’s the accumulation of all the sadness that has built up to this public display. Since my return from Nalaikh to UB, the distance from the place I’ve been for the past 2ish weeks made me realize that I missed it. I still don’t know why I miss it because the language barrier prevented super deep connections from occurring, but I definitely liked them. While I was there, I didn’t feel particularly affected by what was happening, but the undeniable desire to be with them again made me question what exactly this effect they’ve had on me came from. I hope to keep in touch with them on Facebook which for some will be in broken, extremely simple English. (I’ve finally stopped crying now)
2) I’m unsure still about what I will miss. I know I will definitely NOT miss the dusty air of the world’s 2nd most polluted city. I could feel my respiratory system getting filled with nasty particles, hence the use of a bandana to cover my face frequently. Obviously I naturally will miss people, but is there something more? Do I miss the church office where many memories were made? Will I miss the natural beauty? Do I miss these things only because of the people who I associate those places with?
3) I know that God brought Grace and I together for a special reason. We connected deeply quite quickly. There’s something special about what we had. I am one who takes a while to trust someone and let them into my heart, but somehow she just came right into some of my most intimate thoughts and troubles. The undeniable impact we have had on each other cannot be denied. If I didn’t do anything else on this trip besides become Grace’s friend and sister, this trip was worth it. However, why did we connect in this way, in Mongolia, at this time? Did I have any effect on a Mongolian’s life? What was my purpose here? Maybe those are the wrong questions. Maybe I should just focus on being thankful for this opportunity even when I don’t understand its effects. I’ve been fighting the sentiment of not feeling like Anisha was needed at all in the Nalaikh church. Why did they need me for my testimony or my presence? What about me helped if it all? I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am having trouble trusting that God had a special purpose for my time in this particular country interacting with the Mongolians I spent time with.
I suppose what I want to say is please pray for my next few days at debrief (8/06 until 8/09). I have had a bit of trouble processing why I am feeling or thinking certain things, so pray for God to speak clearly to me and help me during my time at debrief. I want to make sure I am listening to what God is telling me that He is trying to teach me. I don’t want to relish in what I think is a good lesson but in what God has in mind. Some ideas I have are generosity, loving with actions, the importance of multiculturalism and language to me, and confirming my calling to be a missionary. There are so many things that God was probably shoving in front of my face, but I need His help to notice. During host country debrief, I was told that it takes almost a year on average for short-termers to get a more complete picture about what the trip was like and what happened. So keep praying for that if you would be so kind and remember me occasionally.
I have now boarded and can feel another cry coming on. Not sure if it’s for this country or what, but I anticipated getting sad on the plane. These tear ducts impress me sometimes. Even though I’m sad, it’s because I felt the love tonight and many other nights in this beautiful country. God, thank you for this chance to come here, keep us safe on this soon-to-be tiring journey, and just comfort those who need you so desperately even as they go to sleep now in Mongolia.
One of the theme songs for this trip: