Wow 6 weeks went by quickly! Tomorrow I leave Illinois to return to Kenya, and my emotions seem to be at war with each other. I experienced a similar war last year, but these emotions are a bit different. Last year I felt mostly excitement and anxiousness. I feel those emotions this year as well as a host of new emotions. The new emotions are guilt, sadness and joy.
Guilt is an emotion I wasn’t expecting to feel. I feel guilt for choosing a life that takes me away from my family. I feel guilt from having to rely on the generosity of my supporters. I feel guilt because I can’t be there for family and friends who want me there when they need support. Over the last year, I have wished often that I could be in two places at once. I know that I am doing what God has called me to do, and often obeying God’s call requires sacrifices. When this guilt becomes heavy, I try to remember why I’m in this position. I am needed in Kenya to teach an amazing group of kids. I love my job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Sadness and guilt go hand-in-hand. I’ve enjoyed my time with my friends and family, and I feel the end coming. I feel the weight of all that I am leaving behind. Quality time is my primary love language, so being away from those I love means less time with them. I know that this distance away doesn’t change the love have for my family and friends, and it won’t change their love for me. It just feels harder to leave this time than it did last time.
The joy of the Lord has been the healing salve to the first two emotions. I’ve had the opportunity to share with churches and small groups of people about my ministry in Kenya. Every time I do I have felt an overwhelming presence of joy. It is a joy that comes from God. This joy gives me peace when I feel anxious. This joy gives me freedom when I feel heavy with guilt. This joy softens the sadness.
I have been well loved during this short trip home. Particularly by my parents. I couldn’t do what I do without their love and support. I could never thank them enough for all they have done for me.
I also owe a thank you to everyone who has renewed their funding support this year. I am fully funded for my second term!!
I ask for prayer for my return trip to Kenya. I have very short layovers in each stop, which means I have no wiggle room for delays. Please pray I make each of my flights. Also pray I have no issues at customs once I arrive in Kenya.