Mean, Bro! >translates to< Awesome, Dude!
Ten days, an exam, a twelve-hour flight, and 8,551 miles separate me from home. I can’t believe I’m going home so soon; (pardon the cliché) it feels like I just got here. Nevertheless, I believe I have made the most of my time here, whether seeing the country, snowboarding, or hiking. Just last weekend I crossed a knee-deep stream 40 times in a day, and trudged through ankle-deep cow manure for the last half-hour. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of being the one of two Americans on the trip; we were accompanied by an Irishman, a Canook, a Swede, a German, a Kiwi, and a Brit. Ian the Irishman made the comment “if we just had a Chinaman, we could represent the UN!” I find it simply amazing how many internationals are in New Zealand who have a working visa or are just visiting. On top of that, NZ is such a young country, and the population is so small. To give a comparison of capita per square mile, New Zealand is about 40 Kiwis to the mi², and Chicago is 12,550 Americans per mi². That’s ridiculous. At any rate, population has an immense effect on culture; Kiwi’s are significantly more relaxed than Americans. For every hour we work and ten minute break we take, Kiwi’s work a half hour and break a half hour. They aren’t lazy by any sense of the word; they’re honestly a bit like hobbits. ‘Why rush life? Work will still be there in the morning.’ The simpler things of life are valued. But I digress. I played soccer this afternoon with some awesome guys from nearby flats. Needless to say, I am the worst of them. Last week I met this dude, Ness, from Saudi Arabia who apparently used to be a professional soccer player. And it’s easy to tell: he can quite literally ‘juggle’ the ball in circles around any one of us mortals. But what’s more interesting is that he comes from a Muslim background. I was listening to him and another friend talk about Islam on the bus today, and it got me thinking. “Here is this guy, from a completely different walk of life than me, and he may never have heard the Gospel.” Honestly, realizing that entire races might miss this amazing love that Christ offers so freely almost brought me to tears. But I know God can still use me to speak to Ness even if it is simply through my actions. Sharing His love is the next step. If I have learned anything from my time here, it is that God’s love does not diminish, and He uses even the most unlikely people and circumstances to His glory. My prayer for the week: “Here I am, Lord. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)
-Karl Johnson, Middle Earth
Listening to: Nujabes, The Ember Days
Just watched: The Town, Samurai Champloo