This is a testimony about God's faithfulness.
June 14th: My cousin and his family from Kentucky happened to be in town the first week I was back from Niger. We met up for lunch at my aunt's house and I was so blessed to be able to relate to another family member. My cousin spent a year in Bolivia when he was in school. He recalled what it was like to transition and offered some great wisdom: maintain some of your same routines with the Lord, give grace, know that spending time with family is a test of spiritual maturity. I was encouraged by his determination to trust in the Lord and how God has been faithful to his family this past year. Thank God for family.
June 16th-19th: I had the beautiful opportunity to be with former Niger roommates for the occasion of our friend Naomi's wedding in Omaha, Nebraska. To be reunited with friends who became family was sweet for my soul.
June 25th-26th: An old friend from college was in the area and made time to visit. Though we hadn't seen each other since graduation, we picked up right where we left off. She was an MK (missionary kid) and has done a lot of traveling and ministry since then. What a blessing - her questions, her advice, our conversations, her experiences. She met me at a crucial time. God reminded me of His care through her. We related as missionaries in America now. Praise God.
July 2nd: I haven't been to my parents' church since last summer. And after 3 years out of the country, there were a lot of new people to meet. My first Sunday back was pretty overwhelming. But this past Sunday, I connected with a family who lived in Japan for about 20 years. We conversed about culture and transition and religion and diversity. It was another surprise divine appointment and I am excited to continue to get to know them.
July 3rd: Mom and I took Grandma out for a late birthday gift - pedicures! As we're sitting letting our feet soak, Mom starts chatting with the lady sitting next to us. We soon find out that she has my prayer card at home. I have never met this lady in my life, but she has been praying for me for the past 3 years at 9:00 every morning. (what?!) Her daughter just graduated from Grove City College (my alma mater) and is looking to teach abroad. We chatted about my experience and both Mom and I were able to encourage and offer advice to another mother and her daughter. Of course, the whole nail salon is listening to this all - about being in God's will and prayer and trusting Him. Jesus, plant seeds.
I've had the privilege of experiencing the body of Christ in incredible ways through family, friends, and strangers. What a beautiful story Jesus is continuing to write. I want my story to always be a reflection of His goodness and glory.