Allie Spain joined the World Race as a missionary in the Far East almost 11 months ago. Now her journey has been completed, spending the last two months in China and South Korea. She is not able to share much about her time n China, but South Korea was just what she had been waiting for.
Allie related: “We had learned that we were going to be working at a girls home in Seoul, South Korea, and I was excited to be with kids again. Our ministry hadn’t said anything about there being babies, so I was expecting older children. When we pulled up at the home, one of the first questions they asked us was, ‘Who likes babies?’ My hand shot up. I was expecting maybe two babies at the most. But when God answers prayers, sometimes He likes to throw a little bonus in there. We were met with six beautiful baby girls from the age of 3 weeks to 4 months old. We helped take care of them during the day, feeding them, changing their diapers, giving them baths, playing with them, and holding and putting them to sleep.
“Many of the babies arrived in a baby box. Those have been put into use in Korea because babies were just being left outside churches and orphanages, vulnerable to the elements. A pastor saw the need and came up with the idea of the baby box. It protects them and sends an alarm when a baby is placed inside. The pastor then takes the baby and places it in a home or orphanage. About 600 babies have been rescued through the efforts of this pastor in Seoul.”
So, South Korea had a special meaning for Allie. Now she is home and reflecting on how her life has changed. The world she lived in for 11 months is so different from that in the U.S.
Her thoughts now –
“Wait, I can flush toilet paper now, right. There have been many times where I’ve forgotten this and thrown my toilet paper in the garbage can. I have to remind myself almost every time that I can flush now.
“Customer service is weird. You ask me questions I can understand. I don’t have to point to what I want. I don’t need to use hand motions anymore.
“Is tap water safe to drink here? I can just drink it. No worries. No filters. I don’t need a water budget anymore.
“Seatbelts are necessary? Really? I feel so constrained, and if I survived in Asia on some pretty sketchy roads, then I am fine here. I have to remind myself to put these on, too.
“Where is everybody? Traveling alone is weird. It’s so quiet and boring. I look around the plane and recognize no one. This is such a drastic change going from a group of 40 taking up an entire section of a plane to flying solo.
“I want to be alone, but like with somebody. Alone time on the race was never really alone time. There was usually someone still in the room with you. You just had the unspoken agreement that you wouldn’t talk to each other. Since being home, I’ve found myself wanting alone time but also having someone there doing their own thing, too.
“I don’t have my converter … oh wait. No converter needed. I could get used to this.
“I’ve got Korean Won or Japanese Yen … that’s it. Realizing the only currency I have on me is foreign currency. Not a penny or dime to be found. Also realizing that I prefer paying cash.
“Can I just wear my race clothes? I really don’t want to wear my race clothes, but I miss not having so many choices when it comes to picking out what I’m going to wear each day. I take a long time to get ready in the morning, not because I’m doing my hair all nice or putting on makeup, but because I just sit there staring at my closet trying to decide. I’ve found myself still leaning towards some combination of five different shirts and two pairs of shorts.
“Where are my chopsticks? Being on the all-Asia route, chopsticks were always an option. I find myself tempted to bring a pair with me wherever I go so that I have them to use. They are what’s comfortable now.
“I can understand everything! There is no other language. I understand everything the lady in front of me is saying. I feel like I’m eavesdropping on everyone’s conversations.”
Allie’s next undertaking will begin in January, 2016. She will be moving to Mijas, Spain to attend G42, which is a six-month program (in English) designed to build character and develop leadership skills.
Allie explained, “The G42 Leadership Academy is a program created for disciplining, inspiring and equipping young men and women to locate their passion, whether in business, the non-profit realm, church or the arts, and to develop a strategy to use that passion to bring Kingdom to the earth. One of the reasons I wanted to be a part of this program is because I am passionate about shedding light on child sexual abuse and about women’s rights and the way that women are treated differently around the world. I believe that the Lord has called me to use my voice, and my hope is that G42 will not only prepare me for that, but also will help me practically live out my calling and passions.”
Allie is once again raising money for her next venture. You can contact her through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Melanie Behrens – email@example.com)
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