(yes this is what my State looks like... yes I live now in Holland... yes you can be sad for me hahahah)
So I've been in missions for 10 years. In June 2006 I flew to Tbilisi, Georgia a few months before my DTS was to begin. It was a YWAM base that was being pioneered and I was going to help with some practical things before the school started in September. Those first 2-3 months were really hard for me, I was so homesick. I remember missing crazy things like gallon jugs of normal milk (as opposed to the ultra high heated milk that didn't even need a refrigerator) and asked for people to send Nature Valley granola bars and Christmas decorations. After that initial bout of homesickness, I started to fall in love with being an American in a foreign land. I liked to visit "home", but when people asked me if I would ever return for good I would give a resounding, "no".
Now we are back "home" again, and I really really love it. It's the first time in a long time that the thought of living in the US again seems so appealing to me. Maybe a bit crazy that I start to feel this now, in midst of all that's been going on with the presidential election. But hey... And this is not an announcement or a declaration of intent, just sharing my heart and how I'm experiencing things.
So far we've had a great furlough (minus the whole jet lag experience... I'm trying to forget that it ever happened) and we've had some big surprises. Like when we visited a church for the first time- not to speak/share, just to attend- and when the pastor found out that we were YWAM missionaries he was like, 'if you have money, give it to them after service'. And we left a church we had never visited before with $266 and a lunch date planned with the head pastor. Whaaaat?! (and that's in contrast with the church I was a member of that decided they couldn't agree with YWAM anymore, stopped our support and said that we couldn't visit life groups/Bible studies to share about our ministry because it was "too hard to control"...). Not bitter, just amazed. God is so good.
In all of this, I feel transition in the air. I also struggle to push away thoughts of fear (that we'll miss opportunities because of lack of obedience/listening/bad luck... all rooted in an "orphan mentality" that still hounds me at times), thoughts of condemnation (that we're over-promoting ourselves, doing something wrong or that we're just wrong)... and whatever. I don't want to make the struggle bigger than it is, but the struggle is real. At the same time I feel God's closeness and excitement about all the things He's unfolding, unveiling, revealing. So excited to see what the coming days/months will bring!