The start of a new year is often used to take some time to reflect on what was and look ahead to what’s to come. I’m usually a big fan of doing this. It gives me an opportunity to process, reminisce, rejoice over successes, and grieve over mistakes and losses. I think it’s a healthy habit, one we should all do more often and not just once a year.
This time around though has been a tough one. The start of this year has been rocky and just plain hard. In my experience it’s often a combination of things that bring us to our knees. I also know it’s not necessarily a bad thing. As I have struggled through the start of 2020 my prayer has been, “I don’t understand you, God, but I trust you”. A lot of things don’t make sense to me right now, but I know my Father. He is good and He can be trusted.
Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for being part of my Mercy Ships journey. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. Thank you for all your Christmas cards and Christmas wishes. Thank you for still investing in me and Mercy Ships, after almost 8 years. Thankful for you!
Highlights of 2019
- My mom and sister came to visit. I loved sharing my Texas life with them.
- We had 3 wonderful On Boarding programs. God keeps sending wonderful crew our way. What an honor to walk alongside them as they start their journey with Mercy Ships.
- Staff Retreat. The Staff Development team went on a road trip to Bull Shoals in Arkansas where my ‘Texas Grandparents’ live. We had a wonderful few days of brainstorming and prayer. It was very encouraging and refreshing.
- Coaching three wonderful siblings on what it means to be a Third Culture Kid. What are some of the joys and what are the challenges? It has been so fun to be able to share my passion with these kids/ teens.
- The incredible Kids On Boarding program. I loved every second of my time with these kiddos. What a blessing to prepare, support, and guide them on their journey as Missionary Kids.
- Field Practice in Senegal. Honestly, I was a bit apprehensive to co-lead this trip. It was right after one of my busiest seasons and I was worn out. But God has been so faithful and gives more than we can ever ask or imagine. It was an amazing trip.
- Visit to the Netherlands. Tired as I was, this trip was so good, start to finish. I was able to connect with so many of you. I was even able to visit my friends in Germany!
- Tutoring. I am tutoring two kiddos from the Netherlands. Once a week we practice Dutch together. It is something I look forward to every week.
- Mini Kids On Boarding. I was able to develop a mini version of our Kids On Boarding program. The October On Boarding program had only one child, however, that one child deserves the best. I am so glad we were able to work with the few resources we have and still give this little girl the preparation and support she needs.
- Debrief Training. I was able to attend an amazing training in Colorado. This training was specifically focused on how to debrief children during and after their time in missions.
- Leading Bible Study. The church I attend here asked me to co-lead two bible studies last year. I loved diving into the Word with others and getting to know people outside of Mercy Ships.
- Grace Kids. Every week I help out with the kids at my church. Serving is a good way of getting to know other people.
Prayer Requests (or just one big one)
My visa. As most of you know I am in the middle of a visa extension process. Unfortunately, this has proven to be almost as challenging as when we originally applied for it three years ago. This is due to the complexity of my specific visa and to the current government administration. All my paperwork has been submitted several months ago and is unfortunately still pending. Because of this I was not able to travel with my team to Senegal where our very first On Boarding in Africa is taking place. It has been discouraging to say the least.
Please pray that my visa extension will come through soon. I have been asked to facilitate a few sessions during the Country Engagement Training that is taking place in The Netherlands at the end of February. Apart from really wanting to see many of you, I would love to be part of this training. However, I will not be able to travel unless my visa has been approved.
We tend to assume that God’s calling will equal our happiness or success or freely opened doors, but sometimes we walk through overwhelming situations and God says, “Hey, don’t panic, because this difficult place is precisely where I am going to meet you and reveal myself to you.” The Louder Song by Aubrey Sampson
Thank you for being part of my journey!
I would love to hear from you and how I can be praying for you.