|OUR FIRST SAIL! Heading to GUINEA.|
- Back in 2012 we committed to Mercy Ships for 4-5 years (though when we arrived we realized that kind of commitment was unusual -- most people sign up for 2 years or less... or for an indefinite amount of time. Nick has felt pretty strongly about a 4-5 year time frame for us all along... but I wasn't so sure -- I kind-of imagined us being here for much longer... I imagined our kids graduating from the onboard Academy... but God did what He's so faithful to do -- He gets us all on the same page.)
- We knew that the end of this field service (Benin) would be 5 years...
- All along we've been saying "God, we just want to be where you want us" (that's what got us into all this in the first place :-) ) -- so we were certainly open to staying... and open to going....
- This past summer we spent significant time praying and asking God for clear direction as to whether we should extend our 5-year commitment with Mercy Ships.
- He brought us all to the same place of knowing that this would be our last field service.
- In June we will be leaving the Africa Mercy and heading back to Columbus, Georgia.
|Easter in CONGO|
It's interesting to try and wrap our minds around the "lasts" -- we enjoyed our last Christmas on the ship a few months ago... we just had our last Ash Wednesday Service... we are in the midst of our last season of Lent on the ship... soon the kids will be in their last quarter as students in the onboard Academy. Eventually we will attend our last Community Meeting... respond to our last fire drill... lead our last Worship Gathering... host our last meeting with the Chaplaincy Team... enjoy our last waffle Friday... and, finally, take our last walk down the gangway.
|Visiting the Lemur Park in MADAGASCAR|
There is a deep sense of peace surrounding this transition. Peace about finishing here. Peace about moving back to Columbus. Peace that He is with us and that He has good plans for us!
We know that transition can be difficult -- and we're going into it with eyes wide open -- but, so far, pretty much everything about this transition has had a sweet peace about it. We're not sure why but God is making the way so smooth and we are so very grateful. We are absolutely amazed at the things that are already lined up / are lining up for us in Columbus.
|Sharing a meal during Aunt Amy's visit in BENIN|
Please pray for us that we finish our commitment on the Africa Mercy with excellence & effectiveness. And thank you. Thank you again and again and again, for making it possible for us to be here! Your financial support, prayers, encouragement, friendship, and love have made the past 5 years (and really our lives!) possible.
Surely there will be more to come.
|A glimpse into what's next: GEORGIA, USA|