Way back in May 2011, I wrote this post -->( 12 Steps to a Better Life) about my dream to move to England. Three years, two broken down cars, one epic week travelling solo through England, and lots of Jesus time later, that dream is finally starting to come together!
I spent months planning the England trip in minute detail and budgeting. Yet, I hesitated to purchase the plane ticket. I desperately wanted to go and the money sat in my bank account but I froze, terrified some unforeseen catastrophe would strike as soon as I bought the ticket. You see somewhere on my faith walk I came to believe that my strong desire to see England made it sinful and if I bought that plane ticket, I would be punished. Once these beliefs surfaced, Jesus called them out for the lies they were and reminded me that I had a loving Father who gives good gifts. I immediately bought the plane ticket and there were no catastrophes! The flight was delayed by several hours, I got lost my first night in London, and I spent a panicked 60 seconds thinking I was locked in an ancient church but those turned out to be adventures.
I traveled by train and bus across much of the south west region of England, stopping in Bath, Wiltshire (Stonehenge), Glastonbury, Cornwall (Tintagel) and London. The countryside was breathtakingly beautiful and I met such warm and loving people. The trip was full of wonder and Jesus. I lost my heart to England and her people. At the same time, I witnessed England's spiritual state. I encountered many universalists, atheists, and Muslims. One atheist proudly declared to all of us waiting for the train that he didn't believe in Santa Claus or God. I left England with a burden on my heart.
As I return to my real life, I continued to stumble across articles about the rise of atheism and Islam in the UK and I began to consider serving England as a missionary. I mostly kept this thought to myself. Even though I grew up in church, I had very limited exposure to missionaries so the journey to becoming a missionary seemed shrouded in mystery. Fortunately, God put Laura in my life. Laura and I mentored Renovation's middle school girls together and she shared with me her desire to join the mission field in India. As I witnessed her progress through a sending agency, mission work became less ethereal and more concrete. In January, Renovation hosted a send off celebration for Laura. I was full of joy and excitement that night. It was beautiful to see my friend fulfilling her dream and it made my dream appear all the more tangible.
Things have been progressing steadily from January to now. Check back next to find out more!