Over six years ago, we moved overseas. At that time, I had no idea how much I would come to love this place. How would I like wearing a head scarf? Could I learn a new language? For me, it was all new. I had no idea what it would be like to live in another culture. I didn't have a clue how I would react the first time we went on lock down because fighting was going on outside. Most of all, I never imagined how I could love a place that took so much from me and out of me.
In years past, friends have left. Some have left broken. Others have went to new opportunities. Each one has taken a piece of me with them. Now it is my turn. I am the one leaving and I know that wherever I go, I will take a piece of this place with me. God has used this place to make me into who I am today. In this place, I have been broken but found strength. I have learned to trust when life doesn't make sense and to live life freely. As a family, we became close and learn how to work together.
But now I am leaving. It makes me sad yet brings relief. A decision has been made. This decision took a lot out of us as we talked, cried, and debated what we should do. We wanted to stay to be strong for the team, but we are tired. There is guilt that we are leaving a gap on the team. Yet already, we see God growing people to step into those places. What if leaving allows them to be better who God is making them to be? In some ways, it seems like we are giving up on a dream. What about my local friends-the ones who can't leave? Am I giving up on them?
God is working in this place. It is slow and quiet, but He is working. My biggest regret is that I won't be here when God's spirit rains down and revival breaks out. So much is going on that I don't know about but I know that God's church here is small but alive. Deep down, I feel like this will happen but in God's time not mine.
I always said they would have to take me kicking and screaming from this place. When we were evacuated due to the elections and security, I didn't want to leave. On home leave, if someone hinted that we might not be going back, I was adamant that God was not done with us in this place. But things have changed. This place has changed. I have changed. It is time:time to see God use someone else in this place, time to step back and rest, time for God to use us in a new place.
As we depart, I am hopeful for our program here. Hopeful that the flight permissions will come soon, and the team can continue what has been started here. Just as I felt a call to come to this place, I now feel a call to go. Go where? That I do not know. The future is still unknown but full of possibilities. We never had a plan B. Somehow we knew that when the time came God would tell us what was next.
Now we are heading towards the states. The packing and good byes are done. We have remembered, laughed, and cried. We are exploring possibilities and praying. No, we don't have a cloud to guide us as the Israelites did in the wilderness but that doesn't mean God isn't leading the way.
Pray with us as we seek God's next steps. Join us for the journey ahead whatever that may be.