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Student Experiences New Culture Through Long-Term Missions

Freshman+Lindsey+Harris%E2%80%99s+family+served+as+missionaries+in+Istanbul%2C+Turkey%2C+where+they+build+churches+and+relationships+for+eight+years.+
Freshman Lindsey Harris’s family served as missionaries in Istanbul, Turkey, where they build churches and relationships for eight years.

Freshman Lindsey Harris’s family served as missionaries in Istanbul, Turkey, where they build churches and relationships for eight years.

Freshman Lindsey Harris’s family served as missionaries in Istanbul, Turkey, where they build churches and relationships for eight years.

Ashlyn Jacobs, Student of Journalism

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Individuals know the importance of stepping outside of their comfort zone — sometimes thousands of miles outside. Long-term missions call freshman Lindsey Harris’s family to Istanbul, Turkey, where they serve for eight years building churches and relationships.

A bustling city with close-set apartments and friendly neighbors illustrate the background scene for Lindsey’s early years. Istanbul is the first city in which they reside, though later, the slightly smaller Adana becomes their home.

She begins her schooling in a Turkish public school, where kindergarten education levels seem lower compared with America. Through interacting with other students and neighbors, she begins to pick up the language and culture. A similar experience awaits her younger siblings, though she shares that it is harder for her parents to adapt to their surroundings.

Similar to its geographic position, Turkey’s culture is a combination of both Western and European aspects. Strong emphasis rests on hospitality.

“If you don’t invite them in, you’re rude.”

Often times after school Lindsey and her neighbors go inside homes and play; socializing and friendliness are important qualities in Turkey.

Back in the USA after eight years, Lindsey and her family must adjust to the private manner of their American neighbors. Social life takes on different styles in the two countries, Lindsey explains.

Though living in a foreign place can seem daunting for many, Lindsey describes her time in Turkey as an experience worth repeating.

Something that shapes her childhood are the friendships she forms with others. Relationships are demanding, and she recalls having to grow outside of her comfort zone in order to build lasting friendships.

“If you don’t ever get out of your comfort zone of your American culture, you’re never going to be able to connect with anybody.”

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Student Experiences New Culture Through Long-Term Missions