I really need to update my blog.
Not only am I extremely behind on keeping all my posts easily accessible, but I’ve also been bad at updating in general. My “About” section needs updated. My title needs some editing….etc. Anyway, I’ll get to that hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
Besides all the monotonous stuff, I need to actually post!
I also have several new ideas floating around in my head about how to move forward with my blog.
But first things first: Updates!
The biggest piece of news- I’m presently not in Zambia and haven’t been for nearly 2 months.
A few months ago my parents felt led back to the states for a season. While they aren’t at all closed off to Zambia again in the future (or any other spot on the globe), they knew God was leading them back to Missouri for a time.
So as difficult as that was in many ways, my parents followed God’s leading and trusted Him as they always do.
(some last moments in Zambia)
We left Ndola on April 1st and by April 20th our entire family was together in our hometown of West Plains, MO.
This transition has been a tough one personally. I prayed for a while about remaining behind in Ndola, but through circumstances as well as God-given peace, I knew I too was supposed to come back to MO for a season.
Truthfully, I returned with a begrudging sense of obedience. This wasn’t what I wanted. I’d developed a life in Zambia. I felt at home there. I’d met the man I’d prayed all my life for. Now I was leaving it all behind. However, God gave me peace about returning with my family; thus, I needed to obey.
The last 2 months have been very tough, but very rewarding. As it often happens, some of the toughest times in our lives bring about the most of growth; and as is always the case, God knows best. I often have to remind myself of this on the hard days.
I’m sure I’ll be back in Zambia or another part of Africa eventually (more on that in another post), but God knew I needed this season away to refine and renew me in certain areas of my life.
When I felt peace and assurance I was supposed to return to the states, I instantly began praying and exploring different options to fill my time the first few months.
I like to stay busy. On top of that, moving back to the states means I’m currently long distance from Valentine (my boyfriend). I knew it’d be hard to cope no matter what; but I also figured staying busy would help somewhat.
Soooo, I made summer plans and I have definitely succeeded with my goal of having a full schedule!
Our first few weeks in the states were busy simply with travel, adjustment, visiting friends and family, settling into our temporary home, and house hunting.
At the beginning of May my family spent a week at one of our favourite places in Missouri, Koinania Valley Ranch. I remained at Koinania a couple extra weeks to work and spend time with the owners who are dear friends of ours.
During my stay there, God brought some unexpected, but beautiful opportunities for gospel sharing and encouraging others in the Lord.
God also brought unexpected, but beautiful convictions on my life and people who challenged and encouraged me as well. I met wonderful new friends and acquaintances and made memories I’m sure I won’t forget. God used those weeks where I was staying in my own little place and working on the ranch to speak to me and work in my heart a great deal.
Following that job, I went on a short trip to St. Louis over Memorial weekend to surprise my best friend for her graduation.
I had lots of time to bond with many of her immediate and extended family members who are some of the most hospitable and welcoming people I’ve ever met. I was able to spend time with some of her friends and of course her as well.
Thus far, June has consisted of moving houses. We were extremely blessed to stay in the Eagle’s Wings Cottage* for many of our first several weeks here until we were able to find a rental home. Through God’s miraculous provision, we finally found a place to rent. The last several days have been spent moving and sorting through things as we try to settle into our new home. It’s been so fun to already have many relatives and friends stop by and already have relationships with neighbors. God is so good!
I’ll spend the remainder of June with family and friends before I leave for Summit Ministries in Colorado at the beginning of July.
If you are a young adult (anywhere from 16-25ish) and have never been to Summit, I HIGHLY recommend it! You can read some about my experience there as a student in 2016 HERE.
This year I’m going as a staff member. I’ll be there for four 2 week sessions (so about 2 months in total).
My time at Summit will consist of leading a girls’ small group during each session; being there for them to talk to, to mentor them, and for them come to with any questions. I’ll also have a job on campus (such as washing dishes, cleaning, cooking, etc). I’ll find out my job once I arrive and I’m just PRAYING I’m not put on dish pit!! (just kidding). I’ll be rooming with fellow female staff members and will undoubtedly build many new and exciting friendships.
I’m so excited to see what God is going to do in my life during my time there! I grew so much last time as a student and while I realize I’m going to serve, I also know I’ll be learning and growing as well.
Please pray for me as I prepare to go to Summit and minister to the students there. One of my favourite life comforts is in knowing that God always equips us and gives us the grace we need for the situations He calls us to. So I pray I will be receptive to God working in my heart to prepare me for this season.
That’s all for now! I’ve already started writing some upcoming posts about reentry in to the states, relationships, and more with other potential new ideas in the works. So look for those soon!
(other U.S. moments so far)
*DEFINITELY check Eagle’s Wings Facebook page HERE if you are traveling or have visitors traveling through West Plains who may need a place to stay!