As introverted as I am though, I completely see the benefits of doing life together. You have another person to share your experience with, to help you make decisions, to face challenges with, to laugh with, to keep you from getting run over by an oncoming moto, to help you bargain for the best price, etc. As I observe life around me, I really think this is how the Father meant for us to live. Yet our American ways seem so far from the ideal community. I feel privileged to have glimpsed and learned from the Vietnamese ways.
Of course, there is always this tension of living in a foreign country because your ways of life no longer fit. But I'm thankful for what He's teaching me about community. It's been stretching for sure. This year I have learned a lot through my team, and especially through my roommate. Maren and I have had to work very hard at learning each other's communication styles this year (even though we are from "the same" cultural background) :) We have had moments of tension, frustration, and tears. Yet despite my natural desires to have my own space, I have learned to share this apartment now called home, and I have seen the benefits of doing life together over and over again. I'm so glad I've experienced true community this year.
A big shout out to my team, and especially my roomie who shares just about everything with me ... ahem :) I can't begin to describe how much of life we do together! It's a risky thing to know and be known- but an amazing thing to be loved even so!