We all have exciting stories to tell. Most of us think that our lives are boring and no one would be intrested to hear about it. The thing is life is intresting enough. We spend hours during the week watching reality television shows, when you could get the same entertainment spening time with people from your community.
A friend of mine posted this picture on facebook today, and it stirred wthin me many fond memories. I have actually visited this location, which is in Yalta, crimea, Ukraine (russia). It I very close to the White palace of the last tsar of Russia, which is also where the allies of Wold War II devised the future plans for Europe.
Why does it stir memories in me? I spent the summer of 2000 teaching conversational American English in Odessa, Ukraine. While doing this many exciting things happened. I realized the plans I thought I made for my life were not exactly the right plans for me, and the shy shell of my personality was broken away.
While teaching English I was able to share my faith. There were people asking questions and I was put in the position where I could not defer the answers to my parents, pastor, or anyone else because they were not intrested in anyone else’s story. They wanted to know about me, my life, my faith, and why I believed what I believed.
This short summer in Ukraine set in motion the rest of my life. I saw God woring in my life, the lives of my friends, and in the lives of people I helped. During this time I saw a new direction for my life, I was no longer supposed to pursue crop science but engage in a different type of harvest. I went to Ukraine with an idea to help other learn English. I went to observe the agricultural practices in a different country. But in the process the people of Ukraine helpd me become a minister, a pastor, and a friend of Christ. I was able to see that pretty much all that mattered in life was relationships: our relationships with God, our family, our community, our society, and our earth.
Today I encourage you to consider a short time to serve God and others in an area outside of your normal lifestyle. Go serve food at a homeless shelter, head down to Mexico to help build a church, or help provide medical services in a clinic in Africa. In these times of service you may find that you find out who you really are. It will also help you realize just how important your story is, and also how important those people around you are.
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