The in between times

We have made it as far as Germany and I am so grateful to all the prayers, hosts, and words of encouragement the past few weeks. It has been a wonderful time of napping, relaxing, and exploring a little of Germany and Switzerland (we are right on the border). I thought I would bring you up to date on my journey.

I realized the last few days that I have been shifting my focus- from the past to the future.

When the evacuation first happened all that was racing through my mind was closing things up, packing and saying goodbyes. Then as we continued through the evacuation, I started grieving. My husband can attest I am not as much “go with the flow” as I thought I was. I loved my life in Mali and did not want to leave. It was hard and I still have my invalid grumpy moments.

Now since we have tickets back to the USA I am able to start to move forward. Being in Europe has reminded me of the conveniences of life I gave up to live in the third world- things like dishwashers and bountiful super markets. I lived without for so long, I forgot how wonderful they can be.

I am also looking forward to being in a place where I can speak the language, drive, hang out with friends at coffee shops and have internet that is faster than molasses. I can even make any recipe from pinterest because all the ingredients are available. These are good things.

Last night we went through our bags. Again. This is the third time since we left Mali. Each time we find more and more things to toss out- did we really need that extra large bottle of aloe vera? and 3 boxes of cold medicine? Would I really wear that dirt-stained tank top again?

Just to clarify, when we left Mali we had no idea how long we were going to be gone and if we were going back or not. We packed everything we thought we would need to last us a few months in hot OR cold weather. Now as plans have been made and we are arriving in the USA in about a week, we no longer need the “luxuries” weighing us down.

We are almost to the end of this stage of transition! Then just 3 more months until Bogota! I am ready to unpack and not live our of a suit case. Realistically this wont happen until we step into Colombia- but in some ways the USA will also bring us comfort. I am ready and excited to see friends and family. I look forward to planning weddings with friends and having dinner- things I miss so much being in Africa. I am glad to not have to adjust my thinking to time zones and hope my email actually was received.

It’s not going to be easy, but it is going to be good. I serve and amazing God and hope that my life is a testimony to His work. Trials come to strengthen us- and although I am weak in the middle, He is continuing to carry me through. One day at a time.

DSC_0018Storks are common in this area

 DSC_0044 It’s crazy how much this part of Germany looks like Oregon

DSC_0066We were able to do some hiking on a non-rainy day!

  DSC_0008Basel, Switzerland on the River Rhine

 DSC_0046Now that is a lot of chocolate!

 DSC_0048Being Swiss!

 DSC_0056 Beautiful cathedral in Basel- notice all the colored tiles on the roof.

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