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  • Writer's pictureAnnaGrace

"Real & Raw Community"

This month in Nepal is S Squad’s All Squad Month! This means 51 racers are living in a house together, along with our 3 squad leaders and our squad content manager.

55 people. 1 House. 3 kitchens. 5 bathrooms.

Let’s just say, this month has been an adjustment, especially after going from living with just 6 other girls, sharing two bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The blessing in this is that my squad is just amazing. I feel so loved, affirmed and supported by them, and it’s so great to be surrounded by people who love the Lord so much. I’ve learned a lot about living in “real and raw community”, which is a phrase that I first read about on the World Race main website, and they’re not messing around:

The World Race is a stretching journey to serve “the least of these” while amongst real and raw community. This unique mission trip is a challenging adventure for young adults to abandon worldly possessions and a traditional lifestyle in exchange for an understanding that it's not about you; it's about the Kingdom.

I’ve lived in community my whole life. I have a big family, and in my 3 years in college, I spent two of them living in a house with 9 other girls, but nothing quite prepared me for living with 54 other people. Here are a few things that I’ve learned this month:

  1. If you put your earphones in your ears, that’s as alone as you’ll get. Enjoy it!

  2. If one person finds out you’re sick, the entire squad will know in a matter of 20 minutes.

  3. 5 minute showers are LONG SHOWERS.

  4. It’s just human decency to take your hair out of the shower drain.

  5. If you talk too much about your dog, you WILL become the squad dog lady.

  6. The best friends know when you’re hungry and will buy you dinner when your card stops working.

  7. Sometimes, a good rest day is as simple as getting a solid hour without speaking to another human.

  8. You can try to find a “secret” coffee shop that your squad doesn’t know about, but you will be found... and you will cry.

  9. You’ll have to try extra hard when it comes to having a good team time, and that’s okay.

  10. It’s really easy to run away from frustrations with your team when there are other people around to vent to.

  11. Earplugs are the best invention ever.

  12. A solid dinner is one that doesn’t involve peanut butter or jelly.

  13. You have the opportunity to learn from 54 other people rather than just 6.

  14. All squad worship is SO fun.

  15. The best day is the day you fill up with one-on-ones at Nepali coffee shops

  16. You can ASK the Lord for extraverted qualities. I did, and he blessed me with some!

  17. If you feel alone in your frustrations, you’re usually wrong.

  18. It’s so cool to see how other people worship and to try it out.

  19. Some of the coolest spiritual moments happen when 44 girls gather together in vulnerability.

  20. There’s ALWAYS someone to sit with, talk to and pray with.

I won’t lie, living in “real and raw community” isn’t always easy. Sometimes you have to wait for the bathroom for 20 minutes, and sometimes you go to a coffee shop, and ALL of the people you live with are already there. It can be hard, especially for us introverts, to get a solid, refreshing alone time in. But if there’s anything I’ve learned over these past three weeks, it’s that “real and raw community” is how the Lord created his people to live. He’s created us to be vulnerable and honest with each other, and he’s created us to be patient and understand as well.

Honestly, almost every living situation I’ve had has resulted in building up frustrations, and burning out friendships, but it this community of Christ, I’ve grown to love each and every one of these 54 people more and more in the time I’ve been here in Nepal. It gives me hope for future communities, and it reminds me of how patient my God is with me, hallelujah.

With love from Kathmandu, Nepal


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