It certainly has been a little while since I blogged, hasn’t it?!! Ahhhh a super long time. Well I don’t have any real reason or excuse for taking a break other than the fact that living life takes so much time and energy, there’s little time to write about it.
I’m ready to get this going again, tho, so let’s hop right back in!
It’s already been ONE. ENTIRE. YEAR. since God sent Alex, Holly B. and I out for our internships in Uganda! Whaaaat?? It’s crazy to even imagine how many days and months have passed since then. It feels like we just boarded that plane, landed in UG and were greeted by our precious Acholi friends in the bush. I miss being there so much.
12 months later as I reflect on that memorable season of life, the word that keeps coming to mind is FULL. I think of how abundantly full of Jesus those moments were. Full of joy, of friendship, laughter, and hope. Full of sorrows, tears and of painful readjustment. Full of discovery and changes. Full of adventure and flexibility. Full of discipleship, study and incredible growth. Yes, so full of God’s goodness that I continue to praise Him every day.
Anyhoo, times are ever-changing. What a thrilling adventure to see how God continues to pull us upward in our relationships with Him and push us forward into the world to be witnesses of Christ.
readjustments + transitions
I’ve been back in the US a little over 6 months now and things are going well. The process of readjusting to Western life has taken time….lots of time. The Hannah who left the U.S. a year ago today isn’t the same girl who came home in November. And the person I was in November has changed even more in the last half-year. In the midst of so many raw emotions wrapped up in my return I put up walls for protection of my time and commitments mostly so that I could heal. Maybe that’s why I didn’t blog for 6 months. Maybe that’s why I still haven’t shared my best stories…my worst stories. While it was beneficial to be off the grid for awhile I don’t think the silence was entirely good. I should have told you what I was walking though and harnessed the power of Christian community, since this was all along a family mission that Christ sent us out on together. So I apologize for depriving you of the chance to be a part of that. I’m learning so much and growing through each experience like this. At the same time I thank God for His grace extended in abundant measures! In every way that I have made poor choices, He never fails to pick up shattered pieces and make something useful of it. This season has been one of incredible growth in Christ, and He has brought me to a place of freedom, joy and contentment now, and I praise His name for it!
So now we reach today. June 7, 2017. What’s going on??
Well, day-to-day life is pretty busy! I’m still selling donuts full-time, while taking pictures on the side. Y’all, I love this city and these people!! It’s been especially exciting to rebuild community among believers in Birmingham and serving others outside of the church with the same kind of unreserved passion I had in Africa. Every day when I arrive at work I ask God to bring people into our store who need the transforming hope of the Gospel in their lives. (and we know that’s basically everyone 😉 ) You just never know what one joyful smile and uplifting word can do to brighten someone’s day and lead into meaningful conversations that spotlight God’s glory and love. This happens so many times and it’s amazing!!
God has given me a sure and perfect peace about being in Birmingham for awhile. Awhile might mean a few months, or a few years, or for the rest of my life! My days spent here are completely in the hands of the Lord, and I’m committed to being “all here” no matter where home is.
At the same time I still feel pretty strongly that God put the nations on my heart for a reason. In these months that we have spent prayerfully discussing what’s next, there’s been an overwhelming urge in my soul to serve in Asia. Yep you heard right- ASIA! It seems so strange that after all these years of being so committed to Africa (which I still am!!!) and now being joyful with Birmingham again, the Lord has opened this door. He has miraculously destroyed many fears and anxieties I’ve had about Asian culture and gradually replaced them with this full and overwhelming love for Asian people, and a renewed burden for them to be saved. It’s too awesome for me even to write about!
a few details please?
Don’t tell me you’re not a little bit curious about this? As my excitement builds I am craving every bit of info I can get!! So while details are still coming together for our team, here are the few things I do know at this point….
date + location
I am personally aware of where we will be working, yet our exact location is not something that I will be sharing publicly. I do this for the protection of career missionaries working long-term in these countries that are mostly closed to Christianity. Hopefully you guys will understand that!
We will be visiting 2 countries over the two weeks. Our team from a church here in AL will begin by partnering with missionaries to share the Gospel in one of the most populous cities in SE Asia. I’ve been told that this city is very diverse with many ethnic backgrounds represented and that they pride themselves in being a multi-faith culture as well, with the most prominent religions being Islam and Buddhism.
Our second location will just be a quick stop that a just couple of us from the big team take at the end. My friends leading the trip served in this country in the past, so one of the main things we will be doing there is making contact with and encouraging their friends from the previous ministry. It’ll also be my photographer’s dream to take family photos of them while in the country!! I’m sure you’ll be seeing them 🙂
Though the itinerary is still in the developmental stages and I am struggling with knowing how to pray for the future, I ask that you lifting up these few things for our SE Asia trip:
- God’s glory
- favor among non believers
- divine conversations
- team development
- ease in getting any required vaccinations + visas
Thank you soooo much for sticking around all this time, y’all! To all of you who have personally reached out to me to see how things were going over the last many months, I owe you more thanks than I can even express! You have meant so much to me on this journey, and I thank God for your encouragement, your prayers and support even when I didn’t do my job at involving you well enough! You’re the best!
Tomorrow I’ll be posting again……a little something regarding fundraising which I think you’ll really enjoy!! So be on the lookout for that! See you then!