My relationship with Pecometh started as a five year old mini camper. I continued to go for a week every summer until I turned sixteen, and then spent three memorable summers on staff (2003-2005). Pecometh helped nurture my faith journey along the way. I remember many times basking in nature, sitting on the pier, in the outdoor chapel, or in a quiet cabin journaling, praying, learning to love God more. It is a place I learned about community. To this day my very best friend is someone I met working on summer staff. God continually uses her to speak truth into my life.
These days I am involved in full-time mission work, living in East Africa, learning Arabic and working with street kids. I am about two years into what I hope to be doing for a long time. My first two years living overseas have been harder and better than I thought they could be. I have been through many challenging and some dangerous and scary situations. God has always proven to be more than faithful. I have seen formerly drug-addicted kids from the streets transformed by God’s love. I have seen light shine in very dark places.
Even though the chances were highly unlikely, I still had a glimmer of hope that I could try for a return to my home in the desert after my home assignment term. Just last week that door decidedly closed for the time being. I am not surprised, however still quite sad. I still have optimistic hopes that perhaps that door will open again in a year or two or more.
But in the meantime, it is looking pretty likely that I will be working in South Sudan. Culturally, it is quite different from its northern counterpart, but there are many opportunities to work with children at risk and orphans. It is a struggling new country with a plethora of needs, still recovering from a decades-long civil war, and continuing fighting in some areas. The people there speak Arabic, so I won’t have to learn a new language, just brush up a bit when I get there, as I’ve gotten a little rusty these past months.
Starting over in a new place, alone, is really hard. So while I am still absolutely convinced that I want to continue to work and minister in Africa, and that this is what the Lord has for me, I am somewhat daunted about the thought of starting over. It is hard to think about building relationships, community, and a sense of identity in a brand new place where I don’t know anyone or anything (except the language - thankfully!) all over again. But God was enough for me there. And he will be enough for me as I go make my home somewhere else.
So I am preparing and planning to head back to Africa in probably late June/early July. In the meantime I am continuing to speak at churches (booked every Sunday!), sharing with folks, working on an online course, spending time with my new niece, preparing to head back physically/emotionally/spiritually, and eating as many of my favorite foods as possible.
Also, since I will be heading to a more expensive area to live, and since I lost some support while overseas, I need to raise another couple hundred dollars in monthly support. If you would like to partner with me to help keep reaching some of the least of these in East Africa you can email me for information. You can also visit my personal blog for updates.