Sunday, June 22, 2014

To Those Who Send Me

I've sat down a number of times to write. Just write something... put words on this blog of mine.

I hear from friends and family that I need to update better, write more (specifically on here) and keep people informed. I never thought communication was a problem of mine, but I'm still wading through what this missionary insight is supposed to look like.

But today, I just have to say thank you. If I write nothing else, I want to tell you how much I appreciate you reading this. Because if you are, that means you've invested in me, you care about me and what the Lord is up to in Karamoja, and you've blessed me by walking on this journey.

My time home has been blessed. It's been a challenge to get back into the swing of things, and frankly sometimes I want to retreat back to Africa because I forget this fast paced life and how easily I get sucked into it; thinking about my next speaking engagement rather than the relationships the Lord has placed in front of me now.

Nearly a decade ago my mom lived in Hilsboro and I would spend my weekends and summers going next door to the neighbor's house. This couple kindly allowed me to come and play with their, at the time, toddler aged boys and share my struggles and the brownies I undercooked. Today I went back to that house, just on a whim hoping that the family still lived there. Sure enough, they did. I stood in her back yard visiting with this lovely old friend and once role model and told her thank you. Even then, the Lord was using her to sow seeds into the work He had laid before me. Thank you for being the body of Christ.

On my drive home I began to reflect back on this journey and how many people have came alongside to make it possible.... I never knew I needed you so very much. I never knew that it would be the love and support of other journeymen encouraging me and sometimes even carrying me that would keep me going.

So, to the sisters who are always there day or night, walking a similar path in a different culture - thank you for your love, your wisdom, and your constant encouragement. Thanks for embracing the tears and the not-so-pretty adventures.

To the church that I call my home, willing to send me out from the very beginning, thank you. Thank you for always welcoming me back, thank you for your generosity both in finances and in His Word. Thank you for loving me and for constantly seeking the Spirit.

To the 11-year-old who tells me I am her role model, who wants to be a missionary - thank you for giving me back my passion when the brokenness of the world seems to weigh too heavy.

To those who get my prayer updates, and wake up in the middle of the night praying Psalm 91 over me... you move the Lord's hand to protect me in all the ways He leads me. It's your prayers that sustain me in Karamoja, coupled with the Word, a dynamic, unstoppable duo.

To those who open up their homes and their hearts, who desire to hear the stories, the heartaches, and the joys of cross cultural living, thank you. Thank you for caring.

To the ones who send me off with chocolate chips, special coffee mugs, and friendship bracelets - you have no idea the gifts of encouragement they are when isolation knocks.

The Lord has called me to Karamoja in this season, during this time. I live a blessed life and am incredibly thankful for how He has lead me there... but let me make no mistake - I am able to lavish love upon the Karimojong, upon my team and whoever else the Lord brings in my path because of the love that sends me out.

So thank you. Thank you for your grace as I continue to run around trying to visit everyone. Thank you for the coffee dates, for the yummy dinners filled with glorious amounts of cheese and the occasional good beer. Thank you for your open arms and welcoming hearts that invite me back while pushing me into whatever the Lord has next.

If it weren't for the body of Christ, I wouldn't not be walking this road He's brought me to. Thank you for being your part of the body.

Thank you for your love.

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