As I laid on my back on a hintă (porch swing), I watched the clouds passing overhead turn from white to grey while the sun tried to shine through. I could hear my friend, Ada, and her brother picking sour cherries and chattering away in Romanian, but I was also listening to the birds calling to one another. It was a quiet moment of basking in the nature that the Creator had made and letting my thoughts flow. I feel closest to God when I am out in nature; not in a city with cars honking, traffic flowing, and pedestrian signals beeping.
And then it dawned on me. For eight years I’ve been serving in missions and it is now the longest career I’ve had. I thought about the different assignments that I’ve had in South America, Florida, and now…well…Europe on my way to Africa. It’s amazing to think of all the precious people I’ve met, all that God has done in using me to accomplish His mission in this world while at the same time molding my own heart. Sometimes it’s a direct question about someone’s relationship with the Savior. Sometimes it’s just living out Christ’s love daily while facing daily rejection year in and year out. Sometimes it’s the company of a friend in moments of grief or joy. It’s about being the me God created in the place He’s put me at that moment.
My mind continued to wonder to places where I’ve lived and – wow! – I realized how much of an adventure I’ve been on. (My definition of live is staying and living [not visiting] for 3-4 weeks in one place.) The count is living on four continents and visiting five and I’m going to be adding another when I go to Africa. Hard to believe for just an “ordinary girl” from Florida. But when one allows God to direct her life no matter what the outcome, He takes her on a journey of serving and loving; of meeting amazing people and growing in understanding of God’s diversity and love; of serving on behalf of others and passing on the joys and blessings she sees and experiences.
And so, with a grateful and overflowing heart I thank my God for this journey He’s taking me on and walking with me. I thank every person who is a part of this journey as I could not even fathom doing it without you – simply put, I couldn’t. You are the support that keeps me going and I find it a joy and privilege to be your hands and feet to those who are still waiting to have an opportunity to hear about the Hope and Joy we share – to be a part of the eternal family of the Almighty God. I look forward to continuing this adventure together!