There is no better way to experience a different culture than through immersion. Joline and I visited Western Europe for two weeks in 2002, but didn’t have a sense of what it was really like until we immersed ourselves in it for five months during the fall of 2003. Waking up each day knowing we weren’t returning to our familiar and comfortable lives a few days later forced us to live in the moment and embrace our new reality.
My longest prior visit to Uganda lasted two weeks. We are now eleven days away from our immersion into African culture. We are looking forward to waking up each day embracing our new African reality knowing we won’t be returning to our familiar and comfortable lives in Malibu a few days later.
Today, our sweet daughter Jennifer experienced her own immersion. A couple months ago, she asked us to begin studying with her about baptism. Initially, she decided she wanted to have a destination baptism . . . in the Nile River. While Joline worried about crocodiles, I loved the idea, convinced that it would provide a fantastic and unforgettable experience. A few days ago, however, Jennifer decided she didn’t want to wait until we got to Africa, but instead wanted to take this leap of faith at the church where Joline and I grew up.
Accordingly, after church ended this morning, our family and friends in Santa Rosa gathered together to celebrate Jennifer’s decision to immerse herself in the new life she has chosen to pursue. Few moments in one’s life can compete with baptizing your children. For the rest of her life, Jennifer will wake up knowing she won’t be returning to her prior life, but instead will embrace a new reality in her daily walk. Joline and I couldn’t be more proud.