If you just want the exciting news up front, here it is: I'm going back to South Africa!! If you want the details, you can read on. =)
The past few months since I've been back from South Africa have been quite a journey. They have also been full of journeys--to places as near as Visalia, California and as far as Glasgow, Scotland. I've been reuniting with friends new and old, as well as seeking out ministry opportunities and taking time to discern what might be next for me.
At the end of December, I traveled to Wales for my Welsh little sister's wedding! Jude and I became good friends during several summer mission trips to Wales, when her family was my host family. It was a beautiful wedding and though it was a busy and rushed reunion with her, her family, and dear friends at Gilgal Baptist Church, it was so good to be there. Following the wedding, I traveled with a friend to Oxford, Glasgow, and London--visiting various friends along the way. I connected with several people in London, exploring ministry opportunities there and taking time to discern if it might be the place God was leading me to. My time in London very much affirmed my own ministry vision, but it was also a time of seeing closed doors. There are a lot of exciting things that are building and growing there, but I know it's not the place for me right now.
In the month since I've been back from the UK, I've taken time to pray about and imagine what God might be leading me towards. I've come full circle back to NieuCommunities and feel like this is the place God is calling me for the next season of my life. As I explored a couple of options within NC, it became clear that my heart wants to be back in South Africa. The NCSA team and I have talked back and forth over email and over the phone, and both sides feel God's leading in this. So, I'm excited to report that as of Wednesday, January 30th, I have been invited to join the NieuCommunities staff in South Africa!! My role with them will continue to be clarified over the next few weeks and months, but I'm excited for the opportunity to be part of mentoring others through the apprenticeship program, exploring my own ministry vision in the broader community in Pretoria North, and continuing with my writing project (especially as my fellow writer Sarah is also returning to staff in SA).
The week following my invitation to join NCSA, I was able to just barely make it into New Staff Orientation with CRM (NieuCommunities' parent organization). So the past two weeks have been quite a whirlwind. I am now working through the administrative details with CRM (getting me all official), putting together a financial and prayer support team, and taking care of the many details that have to be settled in order to move to another continent and hemisphere! Things will continue to happen quickly, as I have been asked to aim for returning to Pretoria in mid-April.
I would like to keep you updated on my process as well as invite you to continue supporting me, both in prayer and financially. I will be sending support letters soon, and would love to include you on that list. Toward that end, I would greatly appreciate you sending me your addresses! Feel free to email me using the link in the sidebar. More to come soon. =)