I was thirsty and did not feel like drinking a 15th cup of water or like 7th cup of iced green tea (yes, it was HOT in New York). So for the first time in 8 years living in American abundance I went to the fridge, took out some raspberry jam and mixed a tablespoon of it into my cold water. Yumminess!
I have not realized that no one does that here when I noticed a confused look on Bryan's face. And posting it as a status on Facebook only confirmed that.
I was born and raised in Soviet Union. I have lived through the collapse of the biggest communist empire of the world. And in many ways my thinking, my approach to life is influenced by it.
When I moved to America, I went through a long time of wastefulness. I enjoyed abundance to the extreme. I loved the freedom I had to preach and I loved the many ice-cream flavors. I loved walking with my head high and I loved Chinatown shopping. I embraced everything America had to offer (within the Christian guidelines of course).
But today - as I look back at my 8 years in this wonderful country - despite all the assimilation I've gone through - I still mixed raspberry jam with water :)
I am grateful that I am from Belarus (Soviet Union) because:
- I love the values that had been instilled in me as a child (camaraderie, teamwork, friendship, hard work, excelling).
- I learned humility and submission, and perseverance.
- I went to an excellent school for free.
- I was part of one of the most significant moments in recent history.
- I witnessed the emptiness of human spirit without Christ on a nation-wide scale.
When I first came to the United States I was only 14 years old. When I returned, I told the Lord that I would do whatever He wanted me to do as long as I didn't have to live in America (and look at me now!). Needless to say, I had no desire of staying here when I came back to US 6 years later as an intern for Metro Ministries with Pastor Bill Wilson.
After having lived here all this time, I can see how America changed me.
I am grateful:
- for freedom to preach
- for the American dream in its best sense (believing that one can achieve anything in this country)
- for the opportunity to minister alongside people from literally all over the world this enriching my world view
- for my wonderful husband
- for God teaching me to look past the superficial and deep into a man's heart.