This journey has been filled with being in unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable places. Cold nights, bugs, weird neighbors and sometimes even unforeseen dangerous locations. But one of our goals as we embarked into this unfamiliarity was that we wanted to press into those moments. We wanted to challenge ourselves to embrace the uncomfortable and to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. I think something especially in this season that we westerners can really struggle with is receiving. We love our individualism and the “I can do it on my own” kind of mentality. I think we spend a lot of our lives trying to prove ourselves and yet missing out on the joy and the honor of receiving. And so our desire was to press into whatever is in front of us and to receive it. Whether it is joyful or hard, challenging or unfamiliar, and to embrace the act of receiving.

A few Sundays ago, we were looking for a place of worship, and were recommended a church just outside Dallas, which is where we were headed. So we checked it out, and we were quickly embraced by the community. After the service a wonderful family of five came over, and introduced themselves and wanted to check out the bus and hear our story. And so we invited them in, to see our space and got to know this amazing family who were just stoked on what we were doing. They then prayed over us, blessed us, and chased us down before we left to hand us a gift card! It was beautiful and inspiring. My natural inclination was to quickly leave after the service and to reject the gift offering in my “we can do it on our own, we don’t need handouts attitude”. But we chose to linger, to meet some people, and were graciously encouraged and supported by these once strangers, now friends.

Because we’ve found that in this learning to receive, we are finding ourselves humbled by the generosity of others. We are learning that we are not independent goats wandering aimlessly, but we are a herd and a flock, we need one another. And I think I can so quickly jump to being the one to be the giver, or the bigger person, or the desire to make it even. But I think that just squanders the gift. Part of this journey has been surrendering ourselves (whether we wanted to or not) to being dependent on others. The bus build would have been impossible without some key individuals. We’ve found ourselves with dead batteries in French Quebec trying to ask someone for a jump- in French! We’ve been invited to stay in strangers homes, distant friends and family have invited us in for dinner and games, and great conversation. We’ve shared glasses of wine with other travelers, campers and crafters. But it is in all this that we are continuing to learn to receive. To be ok, to not be the giver, but to open our arms wide and let a gift be a gift, with no need to prove ourselves or to pay back, but to let ourselves be a blessing by receiving.

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