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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thank you.

I often have an issue with putting things off that I don't want to do. In this case, I've been putting off writing this blog post. Its not because I don't want to share my life with you all, but rather I don't want to really face the fact that I'm not in Kenya anymore and that that journey of my life has come to a close. I can't tell you how many times I've sat down to write or laid in bed day dreaming about what to say but when I go to write it down, I just have a continual blank page in front of me...but today I'm facing it and writing.

My last 5 months in Africa were incredible. I can't quite pinpoint what made it so incredible, but it was. Africa became so different to me than when I had first started my journey a year and a half ago. The beginnings of my adventures were bound with fears and uncertainties. Slowly as my time in Africa progressed, the Lord began to strip those fears away and in return asked me to replace those fears with trust. I did. I would often fail and allow fear to overwhelm me but time and time again the Lord provided small reminders to trust in Him.

This past September (right after the plane crash which involved the two missionaries from my mission) I found myself overwhelmed with fear and heartache. I missed my family and friends and wanted nothing else than to end my time in Africa early and to go home and be with people who knew me and could tell me that at the end of the day, 'everything will be OK.' I remember picking up my phone and calling my dad and telling him that I was finished with Africa, didn't want to be there anymore, and that I wanted to come home...NOW. I had anticipated his answer to be something like this: "Sure pumpkin, come on home. You've been there long enough and you are going through some tough stuff lately. I'll buy you a ticket home and you can take some time and see what is next." Before I even picked up my phone to call him that day I dreamed about leaving Africa and how great it would be to be back in the US away from all my hardships that I found in Africa. Sooo...when I got quite a different response from my dad, I was shocked and furious. He said " can't come home. I'm sorry, but you committed to a year and coming home is not an option. I know its hard right now but you will hate me later if I tell you to come home now." I remember being sooooo angry at that response that I called my mom later that day hoping that she would tell me that she would talk to my dad and see if they can get me home. Nope! Not her either. She agreed with my dad 100%. If it wasn't for the fact that I was on a missionary budget and didn't have enough money for a plane ticket home, I would have been in a jet in an instant.

I couldn't understand it at the time. My mind was so consumed with going home in September that I couldn't even look past that. I felt like that would be the best medicine for escape from Africa and come home where life is 'easier.' Now, after not only spending a year in Africa, but rather a year and a half, I am SO thankful that my parents didn't allow me to come home then (and that I didn't have enough money to fly myself home!). I am so glad that I stayed. If I had left in September, my view on Africa and missions would have been horrible. I was at a low point and leaving then would have kept my view of Africa at a low.

Now that I gave it time, allowed myself to reach my commitment mark, and to see Africa in all four seasons, I left at such a good place. It was so difficult for me to leave but I knew that that meant it was the best time to leave. I didn't want to leave at a point were I was thinking "Leave my bags, just get me on that plane and get me out of here!" It was so difficult for me to say goodbye when I left. I had made so many rich friendships over the year and a half and I didn't want to leave them behind.

I'm praying about whats next in life. I'm not certain about it. I know that the Lord has really grown my love for photography and I hope to use that gift in as many ways as possible. Upon return to the US, I've embarked on a new adventure. I've started my own photography company. I want it to be used to tell continue the stories I heard in Africa as well as to share people's stories from all around the world. You can visit the new site at

Please be praying for me as I seek the Lord's leading. I don't feel that my call to the mission field is over yet but I am praying for direction as to the 'what' and the 'when.'

You all have been a great support to me during my time in Africa. You've been with me through the good and the bad. You've showered me with prayers and encouragement and you've blessed me by your support during my time over there. I am so grateful for this past year and a half and it's impact on my life.

Thank you for coming with me on this great adventure!


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