By now I have been in East Asia for one month! Time has been flying by, but I am still experiencing culture shock. Everything is an adjustment in a new culture. Here are some pictures to depict what I am adjusting to. This is my new life for the next year!1. Food- Sometimes you just don't know what you're eating.  Most meals are "family style" where you order multiple dishes and they are laid out on a lazy susan.  Oh, and using chop sticks is a learning process.

2. Living arrangements- I live in a high-ride apartment with one roommate. I love our apartment. It is the one place I can escape to that isn't crowded and it's always quiet!

3. The language- For the first few weeks I completely relied on our team members who spend last year in our city.  Their language is great! They helped us order food, buy groceries and talk to anyone around town.  Now that I have begun language classes hopefully I can begin communicating with students more easily.

4. Transportation- This is a change I REALLY like! We bought scooters to travel to class.  Otherwise, we would be wasting money if we rode in a taxi everyday.  Traffic is chaotic here, and no one abides by traffic rules. I've learned that the faster and braver I am, the safer I am in the crazy traffic or massive crowds!

5. Missing home- Even though it is tough being away from family and friends for a year, I am so thankful for Skype! Because of the 13 hour time difference, I can only talk to people in America in the morning and at night (during the day everyone is asleep back home!).

6. The last adjustment is just a complete dependence on the Lord.  In a new culture, people tend to complain about how different things are.  I have learned that God can provide complete contentment in new circumstances.  I began reading One Thousands Giftsby Ann Voskamp after a few people recommended it. The writer explains how because of the gospel, we are given abundant grace.  Because I have grace, I always have something to be thankful for. If I'm thankful, then I have joy!

Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy.
"On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it." (1 Cor. 11:23) He gave thanks the night before he was betrayed?! Joy is always possible in every circumstance.  The author goes on to say that she began making a list of 1,000 things she is thankful for.  Even in East Asia- far, far away from home- I have SO much to be thankful for! As soon as I begin listing these things in my head, I am joyful! "To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it."
The last few weeks we have been meeting as many English speaking students as possible.  We will begin contacting and building relationships with them.  Pray that the Lord is preparing their hearts as we will be sharing the gospel with them! More updates to come later!
-Kelsey

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