As a hardcore introvert I always look forward to calmer days. I enjoy a slower pace of life, puttering around my home, and just catching my breath. I don’t count writing blogs as one of my strengths, however, it does have the potential to help me process and … to catch my breath.
This last week of December is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the year 2018 before all focus is drawn towards 2019. Here are a few highlights;
We successfully facilitated three On Boarding programs this year. There were families in all three so I had the joy of working with the kids as well, preparing them for life on board the Africa Mercy.
It never occurred to me that one day I might be speaking to adults. I love this journey God has me on, growing pains and all.
I purchased my first pair of cowboy boots. My adopted grandfather took me to a local bootstore. When in Texas …
I saw my first snake. The snake was on the paved road in front of us. I took this picture once I calmed down and dared getting close enough.
I was able to go home after having been in the US for a full year. Needless to say I missed my family and friends. Dear friends of mine offered to buy me a ticket, it was such a blessing. It was a very busy time, trying to see all my supporters and spend some quality time with my family and friends, but it was so worth it.
I love being part of an international community. There is so much to learn from each other. My co worker Ans and myself introduced King’s Day to our team. Such fun!
In May, I traveled to Portland, Oregon to meet with Culture Bound. They offer training that is designed to prepare you for life and work in an unfamiliar culture. I met with Lauren Wells, the director of children and youth programs. She designed a program to train and prepare Third Culture Kids. Mercy Ships has purchased this training and I am now trained to use this program for our children.
After our last On Boarding in October, I joined the group on their Field Practice. We went to Guinea where the Africa Mercy currently is docked. Before boarding the ship we worked with a local Youth Center, building relationships and helping them with various projects. It was a wonderful experience.
After more than two years I set foot on the Africa Mercy again. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I absolutely loved being back on board. I was able to spend the week (re) connecting with people and providing some training on Third Culture Kids. It was great being in the Academy again.
My week on board was a true gift. I was welcomed back so warmly and have seen God’s confirmation of the work that I have been doing in so many different ways. Even though it can be hard living cross-culturally , it is also a privilege to call many places “home”.
I loved getting to know the people of Guinea, learning from them, hearing their stories. We had a the privilege of spending a morning with a group of women and just speaking God’s truth over their lives. It was amazing!
After traveling to Africa I was able to make a stop in the Netherlands. I kept this on the down-low as I really needed a break. I mainly spent time with my family, which was such a gift. I miss them!
One of my fears of living cross culturally is the fear of missing out. My beautiful nieces were still so young when I left. However, every time I come home, I am blessed by their warm welcome and their desire to spend time with me. Seeing this little note in my niece’s calendar made my heart so happy.
I highly recommend going over your year and reflect on your highs (and lows). Life is so rich and holds so many learning opportunities, if only we are willing to pause and look for them.
If I had to choose a word that is woven through this past year, I would have to say contentment. One of the things I desire deeply is to be content with wherever I am in life. We so easily look for what is missing, our unfulfilled hopes and dreams. But in doing so we miss out on all the amazing things that are right in front of us. I am still learning what it means to truly be content, thankfully, God is a patient Teacher.
As I continue my work for Mercy Ships, with all its ups and downs, I want to be content in what God has for me and look ahead with excitement. Thank you for joining me on this journey.