I’m here. Really here.
The well manicured grounds of AFM’s training center welcomed me with cool spring-like temperatures, making me grateful that I packed long-sleeved shirts, even though my Tennessean self was sure I would never need them in the hot Michigan summer. (Michiganders may laugh.)
Birds cheerily greet me, singing by my bedroom window that overlooks a small patch of lawn, edged by a woodland ravine. My walks to and from class are punctuated by the parental cries of red-shouldered hawks nesting by Morgan Hall. Along the road, the sweet fragrance of a living bouquet of purple-fringed iris reminds me of home—it is the scent of one being at peace.
The tough months of juggling two ministry positions—of too little sleep and too much work—are finally history. Questions related to housing, complicated by the state routing a new road that claimed my home, provided God with many opportunities to direct my steps and give me peace in the midst of chaos. I am incredibly grateful for the help of so many. My oldest daughter traveled from Colorado to spend nearly two months helping with packing, moving, painting and repairs. One memorable evening, 15 friends from work and church appeared to help move boxes and furniture. What they accomplished in two short hours left me speechless.
For many of you, my journey to training has been your journey, too. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and faithful giving through this long transition. “I thank my God every time I remember you” (Phil 1:3 NIV). Your prayers, encouragement, and financial support are truly amazing. Because of you, my time, attention, and energy are now focused on preparing to serve the Tai-Kadia in Southeast Asia.
And because of you, I’ll be there. Really there, too.