I loved our first year in South Africa. It was so fun to explore new places, meet new friends, try to figure out what people were saying or not saying, etc. The first year was hard though. I had lived in Nashville for the past 14 years so I was settled…I knew place, my close friends, my identity seemed pretty secure…being the new guy was SO hard!
The holidays rolled around and while it was amazing to celebrate with the warmth of sunshine and swimming and friends and beach days, I felt so alone. I missed my family but I missed getting CHRISTMAS CARDS! I know…sounds lame but I loved walking to the mailbox each day and seeing who sent a card, even if it was a neighbor down the street whose kids I saw everyday…I loved it. The simple fact that I got very few through me for a loop and had me wallowing in my tears of feeling forgotten and alone. Luckily I have a husband who knows how to deal with me when I get like this but I realized I was so wrapped up in getting my cup filled by others….others making me happy and even define my happiness. I let the enemy tell me that I wasn't important to anyone because I didn't get a Christmas Card. Lame…I know!
It's funny how in such simple (and lame) moments…when I take the time to really reflect on what I am feeling how God gently comes in and reminds me who I am in HIM and isn't that all that matters.
Sorry…I digress but want to share my feelings and the highs and lows of mission work…..if you learn anything from this it's simple…..don't forget to send Brooke a card this year!!!
Seriously though, year number two has been fantastic. It has been wonderful to be able to grow in the relationships we started last year. We feel more confident in our work at Living Hope and building on the foundations we began last year.
We have been overjoyed to have more family and friends come to visit to pour into us and just continue to encourage us in this journey. We are excite to even be thinking about a visit home this summer (winter) for the first time in 18 months.
I hate that I don't write more often on the blog but maybe thats a joy of #2…we are really doing life here now and it seems we are engaged in life with those around and basically, I just don't have the time some weeks…which is not a bad thing.
Continue to pray for us in our work at Living Hope…for the people in our communities and schools that we come in contact with on a daily basis. Our mission is to be the hands and feet of Jesus…to be light in the dark areas and hopefully we are doing that each and every day!