5,832 miles later. . .

Team Ryley family! We are back in Chicago at the moment, and here’s what’s happened;

We went to Mission Training International’s training for a month in Colorado. The first two weeks were learning how to learn languages faster and better, with drills, activities and phonetics to give us tools to do so. The second half focused more on emotional, spiritual and cultural skills like stress management, building up good spiritual habits, handling conflict in healthy ways, and adapting to different cultures.

One of my favorite take-aways was talking about identity: much of the stress in adjusting to a new culture is that we lose many pieces of our identity (relationships, our old jobs, competency in daily skills, etc). As Christians, we have our true identity in Christ, and holding on to that in the face of losing so many familiar pieces of our lives is a key part of coping with the stress.

Ryan’s was having more confidence in language-learning: we both felt much more optimistic about learning Swahili after the workshops we had.

After training, we went on the road for a couple weeks, visiting friends and family in Denver, Kansas City, Chattanooga, Roanoke, Gettysburg, and Nashua, before driving back to Chicago.

While we were gone, we accepted an offer on our townhouse, so now the plan is to leave for Kenya a the end of November. In the meantime we are trying to finalize visas, clean out the last few closets, donate the remaining furniture, etc. We’ve also started a Rosetta Stone subscription and created some flashcards to jumpstart the Swahili learning.

It’s been great to be back in Chicago and back with our church family here as we get ready to leave. It’s gotten very real that we have a short amount of time left here, and one last holiday. We are excited to go, but we’re leaving many people who are very dear to us.

Thank you so much to everyone who has given, prayed, and supported what we’re doing. We love you all so much.

Haley

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