so today is sunday, and i have officially been in sierra leone for 3 whole days. i already have that feeling like i've been here for a month, which seems to happen every time i go to a new place...just like starting highschool, or the honor academy, or college, or a new church, i'm in that wonderful stage of feeling like that new kid that people kind of recognize because they had an awkward side step with him in the stairwell or saw him pass by 4 times in 15 minutes because he was lost wandering around the ship with that dazed look (and obviously clueless) and couldnt find the bathroom that he swore he saw 3 turns ago but the layout of the ship makes about as much sense as Kresge dorm does so he just keeps walking. and yes, i have had the "standing in the middle of bustling cafeteria holding my tray desperately searching for the 4 familiar faces on the ship i know of before someone realizes that ive been standing in the same spot for 2 minutes" experience a couple times already. love it.
as much as this little awkward stage is inevitable, i love it. there are actually a lot of things i have already come to love about this unique community. i love waking up to 4 different accents in the morning. i love trying to figure out what my Benin friend Ghislain is trying to say to say me as he is laughing histerically at a joke he had apparently just told but i didnt catch it. so i laugh anyway. i love dancing with the Sierra Leonean day workers in the kitchen to west african soul music while we cut onions and mop the floors. i love making fun of Dutch people saying "gee gersh." i love living on a boat in africa. I love listening to people tell me about how they came to know Jesus, how he has healed so many of them, how alive he is in their hearts. I love hearing people's stories of how they ended up in Sierra Leone on a hospital boat, and why they chose this life style of serving the poorest of the poor. every single person on this ship has a beautiful story and background, and i cant get enough of them.
tonight was the community church service on board. now- i've been to quite a few international church services before, and i have definitely experienced the amazing joy that comes with gathering together surrounded by different cultures and languages, worshipping together, but in one voice, praising the same God who has changed all of our lives in so many ways. tonight i think i have seen one of the coolest pictures of the body of Christ that i have ever seen before. to be with so many people who have literally given their lives for the cause of Christ, to see to it that every tongue, tribe, and nation would know the gospel of Jesus...i felt like i was literally living in Acts 2. 41 nationalities, all in one place, with one vision, and one love for Jesus.