We left for a mini-vacation/layover in France on August 1 then left for Jordan on August 7.
First we arrived in Thibvillers, France and stayed in the cutest little old barn converted into a cottage. Some friends were kind enough to host us for the host us and help us with initial transportation. Gary and I biked around the countryside to nearby villages. The countryside was very quiet and peaceful. The houses were mostly ancient with beautiful gardens.
After two nights resting in the countryside, we went to Paris and stayed in a tiny little Airbnb apartment. The entire apartment was smaller than our guest bedroom in Oklahoma, but it was right in the center of Paris which made it easy to get around by metro. My old roommate and her boyfriend showed us around the major tourist sights for the first two days. The last day, Gary and I took our time exploring Notre Dame and then relaxing in the gardens surrounding the Louvre. I was happy about our budget while in France. We didn’t pay for any admissions into tourist attractions, which I was fine with because there was more than enough to see for free. We only spent money on train, bus and metro tickets and two meals, then shopped at a grocery store for the rest of our meals. We had our fill of cheese, bread and wine. It was so great to see my roommate again.
We flew to Jordan on the 7th of August. There was a little bit of a hassle trying to get ticket information sorted out because I had forgotten to update my passport to my married name, so we had to get the name on my ticket changed. I was a little worried that would be difficult when we arrived in Jordan and got our visas, but thankfully it went smoothly… so while we’re here, I’m still Sarah Bradford. 🙂 We arrived at the airport around 3AM and someone picked us up at the airport to go to a city outside the border of Syria. We’ll be staying at the church for two nights, then renting an apartment from a family who is going on vacation for a month. Then we’ll have to find another place for the remaining five months.
Something I’ve been noticing both in France and now here in Jordan is how traveling puts you in a position where you have to receive hospitality. Friends and even complete strangers have been so hospitable and generous to us already in the short time since we’ve left the U.S. To be quite honest, it is very uncomfortable for me. I don’t like to be in a position where I am a burden. I don’t like feeling like I’m accruing a debt, and I feeling like I need to repay for everything I’ve been given. I like being in the position where I can take care of myself, pay for myself, transport myself, clean and cook for myself. It is a very humbling thing to be served. Admitting that I am not independent, not all knowing, that I need help is very humbling. It is humbling to accept gifts that you know you don’t deserve and know you can’t repay. It reminds me of the position we are in with Christ. He gave his life for us, he daily gives us everything we need and more, he lavishes love and grace on us, he seeks out relationship with us (for some reason, lol)… and we really aren’t in a position to give him anything. We certainly can’t pay him back. Sometimes His love makes me uncomfortable… sometimes I feel like I should try to pay him back, to earn his love, to close the gap between us. But he already closed the gap… he made us not mere creatures, but his sons and daughters… co-heirs with Christ.