It breaks my heart to leave this place.
There - I've said it. In one month, I'll be on a plane back to the states. I left in May of 2009 - last decade! - with the idea that I would be gone for a year. Eventually I settled on the idea of visiting a few UM missionaries before my return to the states. I decided to spend a month or two with Helen Shepherd in Mongolia and a month or two in Ukraine with David and Shannon Goran.
Today marks one year since I arrived in Ukraine. In the way things tend to work out, two months, stretched to 3, then to 7, then to 13. In my heart, I'm hoping and praying that 13 months will stretch into 13 years ...
Transition is difficult for everyone. Two years ago I sold everything that wouldn't fit into a single trunk. I have a bed, two boxes of dishes, and a hope-chest filled with important things. I wrote up a last will and testament (just in case) and closed out most of my bank accounts. I found a good home for my cat and my car, I said final goodbyes to my grandparents (just in case), and I left the country with two bags.
I'm down to one bag.
I'm ready to go home for a visit. I'm excited to see people, and to spend time with my family and friends. I long for the opportunity to share my experience with others - to energize people and rally them around the concept of mission.
Specifically - I want to come and visit you and your church. I would like to have a chance to speak to youth, young adults, UMW groups, UMM groups, or the whole congregation on a Sunday morning.
If you would be interested in hosting me and having me speak at your church, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org