We have a day of PreAmp week under out belt and it didn't take long before I knew that I'm very glad I stayed in the States long enough to come to this. Even just one day has been informative, spiritually uplifting, convicting and fun.
There are 20 of us AMPers, including 3 couples (2 of which are middle-aged). The rest of us are primarily girls (only one guy) between the ages of 19 and 29. I haven't figured out everyone yet but I'm pretty sure we all fall in this decade. And already we've clicked. There are still some girls I need to get to know but I've probably spent a good amount of time with 3/4 of them. It's amazing how fast you can become comfortable with someone when you share a common bond. And besides the huge one of a love for Christ, we all have the same calling and are facing the facts of those callings. Here's a quick list of the countries represented: Peru (2 girls), Cambodia, Togo (2 couples), India (2 girls), Portugal (2 girls), Egypt, Jordan, Bangladesh, China, South Africa and Thailand. We are all hoping to be able to keep in contact as we serve around the world and encourage each other, since we'll be going through similar things.
I'll be honest, I've been an absolute cry baby this week. I'm leaving so soon and all of my emotions are heightened and jumbled and overwhelming. Yesterday I cried about three times, I teared up several more and my eyes stung about once every half hour! The first time my eyes stung with the start of tears today I looked at the clock. 9:30 a.m. I started early! Every little thing is setting me off. In our Pre-AMP sessions, I learn things and we discuss things- things I will be using and experiencing in only 1 week! And I'm excited and nervous, so I cry! And in our services, I sing and worship God and am struck by the power of the words and I cry. I hear native Christians from around the world speak and see the awesome works God is doing in every corner of the planet (so far Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Africa, Liberia, Ukraine and Moldova) and I cry. I see the hundreds of missionaries around me and hear their stories and how they represent hundreds more on the field right now. It truly is such a great cloud of witnesses and I feel incredibly privileged and sobered to be a part of it and I cry. I'm getting tired of crying, to be honest. Outside of the sessions and services I haven't cried at all. I've been having lots of fun, making new friends and networking with the other Chilean missionaries (and there are a lot!).
I've talked with all of them, at least a little. I even had a very short conversation with a Chilean with the help of a translator when I didn't understand everything. It makes me feel very excited and I feel such a bond with them. One lady told me she is praying that perhaps God will lead me to career missions! I'm sure she's not the only one!