Firstly, I wanted to say to all you fellow Canadians that I have so much
more respect for you. This is a COLD country. Somedays I ask myself how
people can even live here. I suppose the transformation is true. My friend
Jack has decided that I am no longer a Canadian but a Kenyadian! On the
coldest of cold days, I would have to agree.YIKES!
It has been over 3 weeks now that I have been home. It has hard to look
back, at times, on the journey that this year has been. Other times I look
back with nostalgic eyes wishing time would slow down a little. Yesterday I
went through some of my albums on facebook and it made me feel quite
homesick for Nyeri.
A year in Kenya... A year in Kenya... To me it doesn't seem like such a big
deal and I try not to bring it up in conversation if possible. Generally, it
stuns people and I always want people to feel comfortable.
It has been interesting trying to navigate the conversations being back in
Canada. People are so wonderful and want to know so many different things.
I thought that try to answer those questions for you as best as possible.
1) How are you doing?
I am generally doing fine. I thought that there would be more cultural
issues to deal with coming home but I have come to conclude that, because I
spent a year abroad and had the time to 'deal' with the tough issues there,
coming home has been not so challenging. In many ways, coming home has been
such a relief however, there are some things that I have struggled with.
There is a possibility that it just hasn't hit home yet. (Note: this is not
the case for all missionaries. We all have different experiences) . I've
spent time with my friends and family and it has been good to my soul. I've
been loved and welcomed back like no time had passed. I am so blessed. Now,
as I am home I am spending time reflecting, healing and being with God.
People are so kind and very eager to know what is next in my life. When I
first arrived home the jet-lag caused me to not be able to disipher which
way was up, so making a major life decisions was just not to be rushed. This
does segway into my next most common question.
2) What is next for you?
I have decided to accept an offer to begin my Master's of Theology and
International Development at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto
in January. I was surprised when the acceptance came but after a great tour
of the building I knew that it was for me. I walked in and met the acedemic
counsellor who introduced me to the Principal of the college. He had lived
overseas in Kiswahili land for a few years and so we had a good conversation
in Kiswahili. Later on in the tour I was introduced to a student named
Stephen who is a Kikuyu(the tribe I lived with) from Kenya. We exchanged
greetings in both Kiswahili and Kikuyu. I am not sure who was more excited,
him or I! Those were the deciding 'signs' for me! I will only be going
part-time as I will be continuing my deputation with the Presbyterian Church
until the spring.
3) Do you think you will go overseas again?
Without a shadow of a doubt, yes! As challenging as some of the issues I
have encountered over the year were, I know that they were only a stepping
stone to prepare me for the future. I fell as though I will be back overseas
for an extended period of time at some point in my life. It is hard to
completely answer this question since the decision is ultimately not my own.
I feel as though I will end up somewhere long-term but that my home is and
always will be Canada. Thus, I hope to come back home down to road
Those are just some answers to many questions!
I also wanted to mention to all of you that if you are looking for an
'unconventional' but equally satisfying gift to give this Christmas, send me
an email. I have some great ideas!
Finally, this is the last email that I will be sending to you for this time
period of my life. I cannot put into words how much it has meant to me
having you all behind me in prayer and love. I truly believe in the power of
prayer and, at times, I certainly felt is physical presence around me,
protecting and leading me. You have been a key part of the ministry in Kenya
and around the world moving forward the works and love of Christ. If you
have time, send me an email and let's see if we can catch up! Now that you
have spent a year hearing about me it's about time I hear about you! My