Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Time - Jackie from Westmont

“So, Dad, I decided I want to go to Lithuania.” 


It was a warm day at the end of April; only a month before the end of my first year at Westmont College. The decision was made. In less than one year I would be on the opposite side of the world; at that time I had no idea what this semester would hold for me.  My parents were both supportive of my decision and even pushed me to take my experience further and travel when the semester was over. I was shocked and excited. 

The next six months was bombarded with over planning by my parents, so many questions from me, and funny looks from those that heard where I had decided to spend my semester abroad. I could have never for seen how this semester would change me, challenge me, and bless me. 

But it has. I have been changed. I have been challenged. And I have been blessed. 

One and a half weeks left. 

It doesn't seem real. 

After that, I am traveling through Europe. I can't even tell you how excited I am, but at the same time I am sad that I will no longer be living in Klaipeda, Lithuania. I realize that I love being here more because of the people than the location. I know that I can find other wonderful people at other destinations as well, and I pray that I do. 

To those of you that are thinking about coming to Lithuania, I say: Go for it!
To those of you who have already decided to come, I say: Great choice!
To those of you who are not sure what to expect, I say: Don't expect anything, but embrace everything. There will be hard times and there will be unbelievably fun times. One thing that I can guarantee for anyone who comes to spend a semester at LCC: You will not leave here the same. Let it happen; let this place and these people change you. 

ECCLESIASTES 3:1-14

1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.
 9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

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