Merry Christmas everyone!
I am pleased to announce that I am fully funded! The Christmas Marketplace was a huge success! I nearly sold out of everything I made. Any additional funds will provide a nice cushion for unexpected expenses. Thank you again to all who donated to make this trip possible! With only two weeks until I leave, it’s starting to feel real. It’s a little weird to think about.
I’ve always known I wanted to be a missionary. My first mission trip to England further instilled a love of the nations in me, but it was not a completely foreign experience. Everyone spoke English, and the country was almost the same. Mexico was different. I knew some Spanish, but the dialect was slightly different. I also wasn’t traveling with family, although I had several close friends who I relied on.
For five days we worked intensely, almost 12 hours a day or more, partnering with our missionary family from Belmont, the Arroyos. By the end, we were all exhausted. I remember sitting on the grassy slope behind the church looking around at the valley and the mountains surrounding us and thinking “How do missionaries do this? How do they work this hard day in and day out with no break?” I knew, of course, that the Arroyos normally did not always have this rigorous schedule. They kept their biggest projects until the team from Belmont arrived to help, so this was their biggest week of the year. Still, for the first time in my life, I had doubts. Was this really the life for me?
I have a tendency to overload myself, trying to do too much at once. As I caught my breath from the whirlwind of activity, I recognized this once again. I thought, “I can’t do this.” And then I heard that still small voice, comforting and reassuring: “Of course you can’t. You’re not ready, yet.” Then I saw an image of elastic, similar to a balloon. When the elastic is new, it can’t be stretched very far. But once you stretch it a few times, it will go farther. But that’s only the half of it. The elastic also has to return to its original position before the next period of stretching. There needs to be rest between periods of growth.
Mexico was just a step bigger than England. I knew I would need rest before my next step, but I knew then that I wanted to take it. That was the moment, nestled in the rural mountains of Mexico, that I knew I truly wanted to go through with YWAM. Ukraine is definitely a bigger step than any I’ve ever taken before. No familiar language or even alphabet, no previously known friends or family to help me on the way, and a much longer time period.
But now, I’m ready.