Have you ever had the experience of spending hours reconnecting with friends you haven't seen in a while, recalling old memories, laughing until your side hurts, and remembering tough times with a heart of gratitude to have made it through? I love those times! I find that as I get older, life seems to be passing by at a greater pace, and I often don't make time to stop and look at old pictures, read old journals, and just remember past life seasons. It's good for me to do this occasionally because it reminds me of where I've been, how I got to where I am now, and God's incredible faithfulness to me along the way. I love even more revisiting these memories with friends who were there with me.
Matt and Kelly lived in Botswana for much of the time I was there, serving as the youth and children's ministers, teachers at OIS, and quite a few other roles at the mission. We really connected my second year there, and ended up becoming huge supports to each other, both emotionally and spiritually. For seven months we met together twice a week to spend time in prayer, sometimes with other missionaries, and sometimes just the three of us praying our hearts out for the teenagers and kids God had called us to love on and minister to. During that time, He used us to encourage, strengthen, and sharpen each other, and blessed us with such a special friendship. Leaving them was one of the harder parts of leaving Botswana.
It's been over a year, but I was finally able to see my sweet friends and enjoy a short trip down memory lane as we recalled so many moments of our time of life and ministry together in Africa. Part of the time was spent in so much laughter that I thought we'd be politely asked to leave the quiet restaurant we were at. :) And part of our time was spent just shaking our heads, amazed at how God pulled us through some very difficult moments together. I left with a reflective heart, just absolutely amazed at all that God has done, both in my time in Botswana and my time in America since returning. He is so faithful. And He truly pushes us to our absolute limit sometimes, showing us that what we perceived to be impossible was actually quite possible with His help (and through the incredible people He sends our way).
My heart is full. I love being reminded of God's faithfulness. And I'm amazed at the people He keeps putting in my life.
Thanks Matt and Kelly for a wonderful evening, great memories, and a very special friendship. Love you guys!