One year later

While on the phone tonight with Gary and Stacy, it occurred to us that it was exactly one year ago today that I arrived in Botswana. Wow!! What a year it has been! In some ways I can't believe it's already been a year, and in other ways I am amazed at how much has happened in the past twelve months.

On December 30, 2007 there were so many people I'd never met or even knew about who now, on December 30, 2008, are such a huge part of my life. I knew I'd make new friends here, but I had no idea how many of them would become so important to me. One year ago I knew that I would be teaching and be a boarding mistress, but had no real clue what to expect. A year later my heart is so full of love for the 44 boarders I lived life with this year and the 14 incredible kids I taught.

In the course of this year I have learned so much about myself and watched the Lord working in new ways in and around me. I've said before that I sometimes wonder if I'm really a missionary to myself! There are certain things about yourself you just don't see until you are stripped of all that is comfortable and put in positions where you have to rely on the Lord in ways you've never had to before. Some things that have come out in myself I've been excited to see and proud of. But much, much more of what I've discovered have been things that I am not proud of at all and see a serious need for God to change in me. Although this is very difficult at times, I am so thankful for this purification time and character-building season in my life.

I have been absolutely overwhelmed and moved to tears many times during this year by the amount of love I have felt from so many people. You'll never know how much each individual prayer, e-mail, card, package, or phone call has meant. It's amazing to be a part of this body of Christ and feel so loved and taken care of, even while I am thousands of miles away! Thank you to each and every one of you for walking this journey out with me, whether you've been here since the first blog post or this is your first one to read. You are an important part of this time in my life and I appreciate you much more than you know!

You can click here to read my first post from Botswana a year ago. As a side note, I think it's pretty neat that I spent my first night here playing dominoes with friends and was doing the same thing tonight, a year later :) Also, here is where I posted the pictures from the beginning of my time here.

From here....

to here....

What a year it's been!!

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