I love Madison.
And that’s something that two years ago, I never thought I would say.
But I really love this place. God has given me a heart for the city where I am based as a missionary. There are so many cool things about this place. And I know that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be for this season of my life. Even if the only “beaches” are at the lake, and it drops below -30 in winter.
Here are four reasons why I love Madison (and why you should visit, too!):
- We have all four seasons. To me, this is still weird. Where I’m from, there is summer and something that tries to imitate winter. Here we have a pink-petal spring, a firefly summer, a chilly autumn flecked with bright-colored trees, and a winter fit for some killer snowball fights. It’s grand.
- There’s so much to do. Go bouldering or hiking up by Devil’s Lake. Have a picnic on the roof of the downtown library. Stroll down State Street. Catch a game at UW. Go kayaking down by the bluffs. Grab a slice of Mac N’ Cheese from Ian’s Pizza. Enjoy slam poetry and live music at a local cafe. Go shooting. It’s difficult to have a bland weekend here.
- There are all sorts of people. The UW campus brings in scholars from all around the world, which makes our city quirky-fun and full of diversity. There are over 4,000 international students at the school, hailing from more than 130 countries. Some, including a number of foreign political figures, are even from restricted or unreached nations, and they are finally able to have access to the gospel while here in the States!
- It feels like home. Granted, as a missionary, I feel at home a lot of places – almost anywhere I spend the night for more than a week. But the thing that really makes this place stand out is the community we have here with YWAM. I am constantly surrounded by people who are welcoming, visionary, risk-taking, supportive, bold, servant-hearted, and active in following whatever God has called them to do. And they truly have a heart for the nations–whether they’re spending time overseas or right here in our backyard.
“God gives us grace both to endure and to enjoy his call” – Wick Nease
If God is calling you to go somewhere you’re apprehensive to go, that’s ok.
But don’t get stuck there.
We can’t let fear hold us back from the incredible things He has for us. Fear is a liar, and we are not obligated to listen to it. God knows you better than even you know you, and he will give you grace both to endure and to enjoy even the little things.