Off we go again…the “we” always changing. Every year, I leave the USA on a “May-venture” with nursing students from ETBU. This is part of our school’s Global Study and Serve program. More specifically for my nursing students it is living-out their call to nursing and exploring the idea of missions all through cultural immersion.
It is fun; it is exciting, but it is not easy. The climate is different, the time change is significant, traffic is nothing like we see at home. Though the English language is prevalent, there is an unfamiliar language that surrounds us – Tagalog. Even within our team some of us are not well-acquainted and we experience the uncertainty of knowing no one well. In the hospital and the nursing school the equipment, procedures, and treatments vary somewhat from what we see in the USA.
For me, this is the beauty of the trip, in all things different, challenging, and maybe even frightening, we find a commonality within all the differences. Finding that commonality brings balance to all things unusual and unsettling. Though the daily habits may be different, the Filipino people strive each day to get to their jobs, provide for their families and enjoy life. In our small group we evolve and establish our unique identity as a team. Here at Mary Johnston, the call to serve God through nursing is identical to our call and so much like us, is unwavering.
It is a beautifully diverse world God gave us. Delightfully different, yet a thread of sameness and connection interwoven among us.