Inspiration can come from many different places. One place I never imagined could inspire me is Fargo, North Dakota. The past 5 days I have stayed with my friend, Danielle, who has been the recent source of my inspiration.
Danielle is the type of friend you can always learn something from. We both shared the same cong back at home in Chicago where I first learned ASL about 4 years ago. Later she was the one who invited me to join her on a trip to Thailand to preach in Thai sign language in 2015. Now we have reunited once again and this time it was in her new home of Fargo, ND. Danielle moved here a few months before I moved to Florida. She was one of the many people who inspired me by her example to reach out and move to serve in a smaller area. It was so refreshing to see her again, preach with the Fargo ASL group, and see what her new home had to offer.
You know that instant familiarity you experience when you see an old friend from your hometown? I love that feeling. It brings me so much joy to be around friends that understand my culture, my preferences, and my love for Chicago without me having to explain any of the above. Even though I wasn’t at home I certainly felt like I was during my stay with Danielle. A surprise visit from our friend Kim made me feel even more at home. In the past, we were all in the same ASL cong and it felt so good to be reunited again. 🙂
Positive and encouraging friends like Danielle & Kim are such a blessing and I’m grateful I got to spend some time with them.
Preach the Word:
Most of my time in Fargo was spent doing what I love most: Preaching! The Fargo ASL group has a zeal for the ministry unlike any other group/cong I’ve ever seen and it is highly contagious. The territory is very large, rural and spaced out. Basically outside of Fargo there is not much town/city life to admire.
One day I was able to accompany one pioneer sister on a bible study that required a 2 hour drive to and from the Bible student’s home. We set out on the long drive and when we arrived I could readily see that our efforts were rewarded. The deaf bible student was so prepared and had reviewed every single scripture within the chapter we were set to study with her. I was so impressed.
Another day I had the opportunity to meet one of Danielle’s bible students. Her name is Oahn and though she is deaf she is relatively new to learning sign language. I admired Danielle’s patience and kindness as she studied with Oahn. At the end of the study I asked Oahn if I could take her picture for my blog and she happily agreed. She was so sweet. I hope that she continues to make progress in her bible study.
Preaching wasn’t the only thing I enjoyed in Fargo. Turns out there are actually a few fun things to do “in the middle of nowhere” as it is often referred to by visitors. (I’m especially guilty of this) Danielle took me around her new town and showed me the zoo, downtown area, art museum, the Fargo Walk of Fame, and a couple of good places to eat at.
The admission to the Red River Zoo is only $9.95. Notably most things in Fargo cost considerably less than in other states. I suppose that is one benefit of living in a town that was built in the valley of an ancient river.
Fargo’s downtown area is quaint and cute. The historic Fargo Theatre commands most of the attention with the constant flow of people trickling in and out to enjoy a show at the iconic theatre. Next time I visit I would love to see a ballet show here.
The Plains Art Museum (free admission btw) was one of my favorite places I got a chance to visit in Fargo. My readers should know by now that I love a good art museum. This one had 3 floors comprised of different artistic themed galleries. There were so many Native American influences that were displayed in the artwork. It made sense once I learned that there are a number of Native people that reside in ND.
My favorite thing about the Plains Art Museum is the mini free library shelf that sits on the main floor. I’m a true bookworm so it made me so happy to participate in the take-a-book-leave-a-book mentality.
The Visitors Center at Fargo proudly displays the Walk of Fame which features some of the famous people who have left their literal marks on Fargo’s cement.
After seeing the few sights Fargo had to offer, Danielle took me to a great Indian restaurant called Passage of India and a nice little cookie shop called Insomnia Cookies.
The veggie samosas, garlic naan, and dal fry curry was so good. Never did I think I would find good Indian food in North Dakota!
Insomnia Cookies* serves warm, freshly baked cookies to its customers and its guaranteed you will want to return soon. Danielle had the key lime pie, macadamia, and mint fudge cookies. I enjoyed the snickerdoodle, peanut butter chip, and classic M&M cookies. We were both happy campers afterwards.
*Insomnia has locations back home as well so if you’re a fellow Chicagoan you can experience the same sugar rush I enjoyed in Fargo. 😉
Whether I was eating, preaching, or riding through the middle of nowhere I was just happy to be in good company and experience the unity and love that permeates through Jehovah’s organization. On this trip I was inspired to reevaluate my spiritual goals so I can be just as zealous in FL as the Fargo ASL group is here. They are real life #goals. I’m so happy I got to spend time with my friends and check North Dakota off my travel list. Hope everyone out there finds some inspiration of their own and is checking off destinations on their travel lists as well.! Much love ❤