Posted by: topher274 | January 5, 2011

My Third Bubble Town

Well, today has been my first day at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL) in Dallas, TX – a city that is brand new to me.

It is, in so many ways, an odd, odd place. I remember when I was at Houghton College, or when I was at the International House of Prayer, people would talk about the ‘Houghton bubble’ or the ‘IHOP bubble,’ referring to the way these communities were so focused on their daily, in-and-out business that it was like they were living in a world cut off from everyone else. GIAL and the whole multi-faceted center here is another bubble town.

I don’t quite mean that GIAL* is oblivious to the world around it or that the people here are somehow out of touch, but it is striking to see so many people – young and old alike – with such a vision and focus so different from anywhere else I’ve been.

Truly it’s a little town of missionaries. Practically everyone has spent time overseas, has lived on support for years (even decades), and has the firm conviction to spread the Word of God in real, practical, and tangible ways.

The main aspect of this community which I find myself thinking about now is that very many people who have spent practically their whole lives as members of Wycliffe have retired and are spending their golden years here. So many older men and women with tender hearts, unbelievable stories, and zealous excitement for the young people who keep coming in… that is the biggest difference between this bubble and the last two. This is a beautiful place to be.

*I really don’t quite know how to refer to this campus which is home a graduate school, two missions organizations, a museum and an international NGO


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