We've been in S. Africa for 2 1/2 months, and life has felt crazy. I feel like my world has turned upside down. I don't mean that in the negative sense but in the sense that you come here for a purpose and God totally shakes that and flips it. Just two days after I returned from my trip to Uganda, we entered some pretty intense meetings with the leadership team here and some of our leaders and trusted advisors. Looking back, I'm quite amazed at the process and the things God did during that week.
There were a lot of great things that happened, but the one that you all might be interested in is the shaking and flipping part. When our family felt like we needed to come spend an African summer here, we had no intention of taking on the point leadership role again. There's things that God has been speaking to us about expanding the work of Ten Thousand Homes into other locations, and that's where our heart has been the past several months. However, as we engaged the process of who should be point leader here in White River, it was clear that God was asking us if we would be willing to take it.
I wrestled. I cried. God has asked me to dream over the past couple of years and quite honestly, taking on that role was not in my dreaming. For the first time in my life, I felt like I had started to dream bigger than what has been right in front of me. Through that process, opportunities came my way that blew me away. The interesting thing was that they went beyond ministry into blogging opportunities and connecting with people outside of what my "world" has been the last 16 years. As I questioned God on this several months ago, I felt like He said that these connections wouldn't stop but would actually come together and be an important part of Ten Thousand Homes.
Somehow, though, taking on the role of point leader here felt like I had to really weigh these opportunities, because location does change things. It was hard, to be honest, but I was reminded of some key things that God spoke to us during sabbatical. One, that we were to not let this place, here in White River, South Africa die (not that it's necessarily dependent on us to survive), and two, that we weren't totally finished with this place (we had other interpretations of what that meant). So, we said yes.
When God spoke the word risk to me at the beginning of this year, I had no idea just what a step of risk He would ask us, ask me to take. As I've pulled my belongings out of storage and spent the last three weeks setting up house, I've processed all of this. It's hard to see how certain things He has spoken to us will come about with taking on this role, but I know that I see through a glass dimly and that He sees a bigger picture. I say yes and take the step, and I'm trusting that He's going to meet me, meet us, as we step in faith.
Before we came here, our desire was that we would travel back and forth more between Africa and USA. Taking on this role doesn't necessarily change that. We will still be traveling quite a bit for fundraising purposes. In fact, next month we will return to the U.S. via Europe (we'll be spending about three weeks fundraising in England and Ireland). Since we weren't planning on this leadership position, we have several things we need to sort out like applying for visas and fundraising to buy a car here. My dream is still to have a home here in Africa AND a home in the U.S. I used to think that was too extravagant, but now I totally believe that it's not and that God wants to fulfill that dream. I now have a home here in S. Africa, so I'm 50% there!
Please continue to pray for us in this transition. The kids are super excited to be living here in Africa again. They've reconnected with old friends and made new ones. They are settling in well and are loving home school. For that, I am extremely thankful.