I was frequently greeted with the remark during my 5 weeks home this past couple of months, “wow, has it really been 12 months already?” Yes it has! It’s now actually almost 14 months to be precise, and I feel the same sentiment. In some respects I feel like I have been living and serving in Africa forever, and in some way it also feels like I am still just finding my feet here and still have so much to learn.
Alas, I had a wonderful, refreshing time back home. My heart is truly full from all the love, from quality time with family and friends, from sharing in special moments – my brother’s wedding being quite the highlight! – and just generally reconnecting and enjoying once again some of those creature comforts of home (I have to say I did absolutely savour every single cup of amazing Sydney coffee I did have the opportunity to consume this past 5 weeks – perhaps a few too many on some days! Grind is still my favourite – heaven in a cup! :-)) I have included a few pictures from my time home below.
As I have returned to Africa this past week and readjusted through the jetlag, my next chapter in Africa begins. In ZAMBIA! 🙂
To back up slightly, a week and a half before I flew home to Australia, I met with the leadership here at Hands and I was asked how I would feel about moving to Zambia for the rest of this year to support the team and our work up there. Initially I was caught slightly off guard, as I had settled into my work for the year and things were progressing well… But as I pondered and prayerfully considered the option, my heart genuinely got excited for the potential that a move to Zambia for the remainder of this year holds. Over 30 of the communities we work in are located in Zambia alone, and from Zambia we also support our work in Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The team is smaller in Zambia and the work is great. So there will be plenty to do!
It is a happy / sad moment. I am genuinely excited and looking forward to living and serving in Zambia. I love change! And I love a new challenge! (Perhaps I am a little strange in that respect ;-)) But its also a little sad to say goodbye for now to the teams I have built relationship with and worked alongside in South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Its 3 days until I depart. I will be starting my journey to Zambia this Sunday (on a 6am bus from Nelspruit!). I will be traveling with James (who is one of our key Zambian leaders) via bus to Durban first stop, and then travelling by road – bus and vehicle – the rest of the way up to Zambia. So even just the travelling to Zambia will be the first of many new adventures! Your prayers are appreciated for safe travels, smooth logistics as we travel and fast and easy border crossings. We should arrive in Zambia sometime mid-late next week.
It really does feel like a new chapter, a time to dig deeper, a time to trust that God is doing something more in me and through me as I continue to learn what it means to serve the poorest of the poor in Africa. As I shared many times while I was home, it really is a privilege and an honour to be a part of this work. So thank you again for your ongoing support that enables me to do so!
Next blog, I’ll update you on my new home in Zambia 🙂
My two favourite things in Australia – Grind Coffee and the beach 🙂
Members of our Shirelive Church family who participate in missions both locally and globally. A privilege to stand alongside such an amazing bunch of people!
My absolutely most favourite Italian Ricotta cheesecake….yes it is even better than it looks! (If only I could work out a way to import it to Africa!!)
Slightly teary airport farewells with these beautiful girls!