Well, today is September 1st, which means I've been here for two whole months now! It's crazy how quickly time has passed!
The last eight weeks have included so much laughter and joy...so many pictures and dance parties and snuggles. They've included rainstorms, cartwheels, bike races, jumping rope, re-learning to drive a car, my first jigger and first women's Bible study (which was also my first night staying alone in the house and the day I locked myself out of the house), a new kid at the center, several trips to hospitals, medical clinics, and slums, visits to homes of kids we love (and a few we've only just met!), countless replays of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, and quite a few teams from all over America. (Oh, and definitely fewer showers than you'd think!)
We have really had a lot of fun.
The last two months have also included a lot of tears. A lot of lying awake at night with questions about my future, worries about finances, and insecurities about what's to come. And a lot of space to process things that I had emotionally bypassed in the months leading up to moving here.
More than anything, these two months have brought up the old wrestling match in my head and my heart over the definitions of value and success and identity. (Ugh, if I have to learn this lesson one more time...!) Each day that I don't do what I said I was moving here to do, I feel like a failure in the eyes of those who helped me get here.
Thankfully, God has been shifting my thoughts. I have had to remember to consistently surrender what I'm doing here, how long I am here for, and how quickly I want to make and move at plans while He has consistently reminded me that He has it all under control and following His plans will make my time here so much better than anything I could attempt to arrange.
Five years went by in-between placing on my heart the dream to end human trafficking and my first visit to explore the possibility of acting on it. It's been two months of living here and I'm learning Swahili at a reasonable rate, making connections to women both in the slum and in local leadership, and finding space to listen to God's voice.
I'm moving toward the goal...even if it's at a MUCH slower pace than I'd like.
I have been wanting to write with a little more vulnerability here, but wasn't sure how to share these thoughts in the midst of feeling them. I didn't want to give the impression that things have been terrible, appear ungrateful for my time here or seem uncertain that this is, still, exactly where God wants me to be.
I firmly believe that God is at work, in me and in this community. That He is good and near and faithful. I want to believe this more deeply...
They have been a stretching two months, to say the least. And I'm slightlynervousbutalso looking forward to being stretched, pruned, and reshaped more in the months to come. Thank you for following this adventure and for your words of encouragement (to me and to the people I'm working with!) You can't possibly know how much strength, comfort, and confirmation they have brought to my heart.
I'm thankful to be able to call you my people.