At the beginning of October I flew out of Congo to the US. I didn't make my trip public knowledge because I wasn't sure how to explain it.
I had two good friends leave the ship in April 2013 and plan to get married in October in Texas. I had lived with these friends for the past 2 1/2 years on the ship and so definitely wanted to support them and join them for their special day.
While I was at home in the winter, I had to make a decision about whether I would stay on the ship after I went to the wedding in October or head home from there. I had to make a decision because all the nurse positions on the ship were filling up so fast because of the 60 Minutes clip raising so much awareness. Before I had made my decision, my boss and friend, Kirstie, she wrote me an email saying that all the positions were full and I could only stay if a nurse cancelled. At reading this news I actually didn't feel panicked, but I still didn't know what I would be doing if I wasn't living and working on the ship. I kept the news to myself and handed it up to God knowing that if he closed the Mercy Ships door then he'd have something else just as great for me. The following day I got another email from Kirstie saying someone had dropped out and if I wanted the spot to let her know soon, but it meant a six week break between leaving for the wedding and returning to the ship. If she wiggled around the staffing she could also keep me in the same cabin and bed space, although people would sleep in my bed while I was away.
I spent the weekend thinking and praying about it and gave her a Yes! So in the end I didn't need to figure out how long to spend in the US, God gave me the amount of time.
I made a plan for traveling around the US visiting friends that I'd made a deep connection with on the ship. Of course there is never enough time or money to stretch to each person that I would dearly love to see again and spend a good amount of time with. If you know me, you'd know that quality time is my favourite thing, so in these weeks away, I get to catch up on some quality time with dear friends living so far away. So even though I feel a little guilty that everyone is working hard without me, I am soaking up God's goodness in giving me so much time with friendships he has blessed me with.
Do you want to see some photos of the fun we've had?
First up- Texas State Fair!!!
|Deep fried oreos!!!|
Sarah and Jeff's wedding. I got to assist Ruben Plomp with the photos! Here's a sneak peak.
Then it was goodbye Texas, hello Arizona! Let's roadtrip!
A surprise drive through Utah!
"You have reached your destination" Durango, Colorado.
I am enjoying every moment of Fall colours!
Crisp, icy mornings.
Beautiful mountain towns.
Fallen, yellow leaves.
Beautiful families as friends.
American football games.
Warm clothes and hats.
Photoshoots of gorgeous families in the fading light.
|I was behind the other camera- thanks to Tiff for these|
Sunday drives to mountain villages.
Next state: Nebraska and a visit to the Omaha zoo.
A good cup of tea with a dear friend.
This afternoon I might just walk to Iowa, it's only a 20 min walk away!