On my recent trip to the States, I was reminded at how blessed I am to have so many places to call "home."
During my 6 years in Fort Worth, many friendships were forged in the fire of residency at JPS. I spent a tornado style 2 days of visiting with former faculty, co-wokers, friends, and my Westridge church family. And it was a Texas-sized tornado, making the most of every moment! Brent and Elaine and Heather and the Carters and so many others... it was wonderful to be with you. The time was short, but oh so sweet.
And of course Mount Vernon is and will always be home sweet home. Time with my family was therapeutic after months of limited communication due to malfunctioning internet. I welcomed my new nephew and was able to enjoy his first week of life. I'm really going to miss that lil dude. It is crazy to think that he will be walking and talking the next time I visit! Praise the Lord for Skype and now-working internet. At least I get to SEE him grow up (virtually). My friend Sarah's wedding was also the catalyst for numerous reunions with forever friends... late night chats over a cold Coke or Friendly's ice cream. I only wish there had been a wee bit more time to visit with those I missed.
"Where in the world is Aunt Steph?"
I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to visit my Columbus home and my little church in the inner city. Thanks to all of you who have supported and mentored and prayed for me. I am praying for you, too. Lower Lights will always have a special place in my heart.
I was a little concerned that at the end of my visit to the US, I wouldn't be ready to come back to PNG. Would I be leaving my heart in America?
To tell you the truth, 3 weeks in the modern world was just about to be overwhelming for this FOB. As much as I enjoy escaping the bush, I have really come to enjoy the simplicity of life there!
More than that, I realized how much the people of Kudjip have also become my home... Beck and Brutus and Pete, Meti, my fellow missionaries, girls in the Bible study, colleagues at the hospital, Robert and Kauntz, and so many more who have touched my life over this past year and a half. In Mark 10, Jesus promised that those who left home and family and everything else for the sake of His kingdom would get that and more in return. His promise is so true. Thank you, Lord, for that gift.
"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children for fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with the persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life."
~ Mark 10:29-30