Sunday morning. Some couple of months ago, Sunday mornings meant a lot different to me. It meant waking up early and prepping up to attend Sunday service in our church in Medan, Indonesia. It meant preparing the sound system to make sure that the audio works well and some minor preparations before the service starts. It also meant meeting and spending time with my spiritual family there. Most important of all, Sunday mornings meant hearing God’s word and listening to the preaching of our pastor there.
Well Sunday morning took a kind of different turn for me now. Instead of prepping up to attend a Sunday service, I woke up early to wash my week’s worth of clothes and met my new Vietnamese friend who will take me to the street where our church is located here in Ho Chi Minh City. Well we did find the address but Im still not sure if my church really holds service there so I still have to go back a little later for the English service schedule. My friend had to leave me since she has a scheduled date with her boyfriend so I had to brave the streets of District 3 going to District 1 alone.
Almost 5 months and a lot of things have changed. From always having someone to be with me wherever I go, I now find myself doing everything on my own. Well, I do have some friends here who were kind enough to drive me around the city but still, there are just some things you got used to that you will long for every now and then. I’m missing those times when just a single call or text and there’s already someone who’s very willing to go with you wherever.
Being on your own has its pros and cons. Well, I could go out anytime now without having to think about whether someone’s waiting for me to go home or not. I can go wherever I want randomly. I can choose to eat or not. I can choose to sleep the whole day or just go around the city the whole day. Everything is totally up to me. Sometime ago, I dreamed of living this kind of life and I’m totally experiencing it now.
When I first set my feet on Vietnam, I didn’t know anyone. Everything is really unfamiliar to me. I haven’t even been to this country before. I don’t have any idea what’s in store for me here. I just know that I need to take this certificate course if I want to teach overseas and Vietnam’s a good choice. It’s like I’m in one of the biggest and exciting challenges of my life and I only rely on God’s grace every single day. But from Day 1 up to this day, I think I am loving how I am seeing myself now. I am discovering things about myself which I never thought I could be before. I thought I wouldn’t be able to fit in with the group of people from other nations, but it turned out I could and I could even be just as weirdly normal to them as I am with my other friends. I thought I’m kind of shy when speaking in front, but I realized that I could very well do it when the need arise and I don’t feel uncomfortable at all. Never mind if I have to speak to a group of people with different nationalities, personalities, and perceptions. If I need to do it, I would do it.
I have to admit, though, I still miss the people I used to share my Sundays with in Indonesia. A big part of my heart is still longing that one day, I would still be able to attend Sunday services with them again. I miss hearing people talking in Bahasa because Vietnamese language is really different. I couldn’t understand a thing since there’s almost no similarity with the Filipino language.
I am praying to God to give me a new heart for this nation. I want to have a new heart for Vietnam and I want to love this country as much as I am loving Indonesia. This is just my first week, though. I know that there are still a lot about Vietnam that I have yet to discover and love. I am opening up my heart to this nation and I’m pretty sure God has a special reason and purpose why I am where I am now. I’m just excited for I know that wonderful things are up ahead of me:-)
I am alone in this city but I am not lonely. I’ve gained a lot of new friends in just a matter of week and I know I will still have more as days go by. And who knows? Maybe finding a new love will be on its way:-)