Farther Along

So I figured it’s time for some real life updates.  Actually, it was time about a month ago, but I have not made this blog as much of a priority as I should have.  I am writing from one of the most beautiful cities in the world:  Paris.  There is no fear felt in the city, simply mourning.  I am completely safe from inside of my Airbnb; no better time to catch up on the blog.  I apologize for the lack of firepower (Garrett).  Hopefully this will be the most flaming post yet.

Surprisingly, I am doing more than just traveling and studying.  Greater, I am growing and learning.   Here is my attempt to articulate this growth:

  • I have a beard. It’s getting thick and should only get thicker.  It has been about 3 weeks, the goal is 3 months.  This may be the last time in my life where I will not have a boss, interviewer, or girl to impress.  Also, I think a beard makes the most sense in the context of traveling.
  • I could really see myself living abroad. I don’t know where or doing what, but I’m happy overseas.  I don’t think it’s a travel bug, necessarily.  Instead, I think I am a lot happier when I’m living uncomfortably (materially, socially).  It’s way too easy to get comfortable in the U.S.
  • Homelessness has been on my heart in a big way. Before I left WM, my best friend and I started a homeless ministry on campus.  Leaving that was hard.  However, I have encountered homelessness in a new way since coming abroad.  The streets of Sevilla are lined with homelessness in the traditional sense.  Moreover, Syrian refugees have a political presence in Europe that is not felt in the states.  I could commit my life something along the lines of refugee ministry.  I believe Jesus was not joking when he said that everything we do unto the least of our brothers we do unto Him.
  • I am part of a Christian ministry group called “Veritas” and am the only guy in the entire group. I thought that growing up with 3 sisters would prepare me to handle any amount of woman-power.  However, the ratio here is unreal.  Of my 5 classes, I am the only guy in 4 of them.  Further, our ISA group has approximately 45 girls to 9 guys.  It’s actually insane.
  • That said, Veritas has given me the opportunity to do some pretty unbelievable things. Notably, we threw a Mother’s Day party for all of the program’s host Mom’s, had a Fall Festival for the little kids in a community right outside of the city, and I will have the chance to share my testimony in Spanish at a local church next week.
  • Nothing makes you cherish friends and family like removing yourself from them for a while. It’s also funny how specific people are highlighted in your mind.  There are a certain one or two individuals who can make your entire week just by Skyping with them once (cough cough Ben Constable).   I have the greatest friends, sisters, and parents in the world, and love every moment on Skype with each and every one of you.  I also can’t wait to continue living life with you guys on the other side of things.
  • Relationships are such a cool thing. In such a short time you can make friends for life.  I know for a fact that many people here are going to be present in my future.  There are 4 or 5 guys here who have impacted me in ways far greater than I will ever be able to express to any of them.
  • I have a newfound confidence in front of people in two particular contexts: leading worship and teaching.  I still do not particularly like attention, but find I’m in my element with a guitar in my hands or group of kids in front of me.
  • Vietnam is approaching We are preparing to launch the Virtual Playground, a new website interface that interacts with students and teachers around the world – actually facilitating cross cultural dialogues.  Relatedly, it’s incredible how perfectly everything that I am doing in Spain has lined up for my time in Vietnam – even in ways I could never have anticipated.  I am able to spend time in a classroom teaching English, am taking multiple multiculturalism and education courses, and have a mentor in the city who is a fulltime ESL teacher.
  • Things are shaping up for next year at William and Mary. I have dropped a major, decided to take Arabic and dance classes, and have committed to living with some really good dudes (Betas) off campus; two of whom I have never met.
  • Life moves so quickly. It is unbelievable that it is already November.  This trip has taught the power in slowing down.  Also, life changes so quickly.  I was at camp and now I am here and soon I am onward.  Even my December plans seem to change every day.  I am finally locked in – flying to Dublin on the 11th, to the French Alps on the 17th, and to Paris on the 23rd.   I am confident that God will continue to work things out in front of me.

I certainly missed a lot, but will be back with another update in a jiffy.  Also, stay tuned for the Morocco and Paris updates to follow shortly.

For my Christian friends, please be praying that I would be overflowed with His love for other people.  Without a male community here, times can be spiritually exhausting.  Please pray that I would be coming to The Gospel for inspiration instead of relying on self-righteousness. 

“It is easier to be a fanatic than a faithful soul, because there is something amazingly humbling, particularly to our religious conceit, in being loyal to God” – Oswald Chambers

Please pray that I would continue to be committed to God instead of to my religious conviction. 

3 thoughts on “Farther Along

  1. Scotty you are the bomb. I’ll be praying for what you asked us to pray for specifically… press on brother! Eyes fixed on His heart.

    Like

  2. Your thoughts and perspectives are inspiring and help us realized what is out there beyond the buildings and landscape. You appear to be taking it all in and learning so much. Stay safe and watch the mail for your package next week.
    RE

    Like

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