Getting off the plane when I first arrived to Cape Verde, I had absolutely no idea why God sent me there. I did not know the language and I did not even know where this mysterious country was on a map. I felt worthless and incapable of being used by God to do His work. When God placed the desire in my heart to pursue this opportunity, I knew it would come with challenges, but I was prepared to take on these challenges. At the time of getting off the plane in Cape Verde, I did not know exactly how I would take on these challenges, but I put my trust in God. I have never been so uncomfortable in my life. These past 8 months have been filled with so many uncomfortable situations, but these past 8 months have been the best time of my life and I hope that my years only continue to become even better! I felt the closest to God when I was placed in these uncomfortable situations. I always ended up seeing God’s faithfulness and glory in those situations because He made a way to show Himself through them all. God is always faithful to His people. It was not until this past year that I really noticed and praised Him for His unfailing love. I was blinded in the United States by the comfortable lifestyle I had that I never realized that God was always by my side. I thank Him for opening my eyes to see Him more clearly these past 8 months.
One of my biggest fears for coming back home is becoming comfortable again. I do not want to ever become comfortable again. God has taught me and used me the most in my most uncomfortable times. I pray that God will continue to use me in mighty ways for His kingdom, but it is my job to not become comfortable in my walk with Him. I feel the urge to continue to be pushed out of my comfort zone so that I may see more of the glory of our Lord. I truly believe that these past 8 months have been the best time of my life because I allowed God to have complete control and I was willing to be used in ways I never thought would be possible. Coming home to the United States, I pray that my heart continues to be changed by God and continues to be willing to be used by Him for His kingdom’s work. I do not want to be the same lukewarm Christian that I was coming into this trip and I pray to never be that same person again. Just because this trip has come to an end does not mean that my mission ends too. I am only changing locations. The work never ends. There is so much work for the Kingdom to be done in the United States and before this trip, I did not realize the blessings and responsibilities I had as a child of God. I am now certain of my role in God’s plan and I will not ignore the responsibilities that He has given me. As Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” These verses clearly state what the followers of Christ’s responsibilities are and I fully intend to pursue those responsibilities.
My time in Cape Verde for 8 months contained many challenges, but through those challenges, I felt God changing my heart the most. I do not feel like I am the same person I was 8 months ago. I truly feel alive again in Jesus Christ and it feels absolutely amazing! God has refined my heart during this trip and made it new in Him. I pray that God continues to change my heart as I come home. If He had never placed the desire for me to come on this trip, I would still be blinded by my old sinful life. I thank my Lord and Savior for saving me from my old sinful self and making me new. I have so much joy in this new life that He has given me! I do not know what my future holds or what God has intended for me, but I desire to follow Him full heartedly wherever that may be. If that is to become a full-time foreign missionary or doing ministry work in the United States, I want to do God’s will and not my own.
This past week was very hard for my team and I. We all have made so many friends in Cape Verde. These people were some of the hardest goodbyes that we have ever had to say. Cape Verde had become our second home. We were blessed to have met so many people that encouraged us in our walk with Christ and shared the love of God with us. The love and kindness that these people have is something that we have never seen quite like it before. It was a beautiful experience. I will miss my friends so much. I will miss my beautiful second home, Cape Verde. I pray and hope to have the chance to come back one day.
Even though I miss my second home very dearly, it feels great to be back home in the United States. I have missed my family and friends so much. I was so blessed to have so many encouraging people in the United States while I was in Cape Verde, but I know they were all very ready for me to be back home. It feels very strange to be back home. I view things a lot differently now and I have a lot more gratefulness for the people and things that God has blessed me with. Now that I am back home, if any of you would like to meet to talk more about my trip, I would love to meet with you. God taught me a lot in these past 8 months and I would love to share that with you all too. Please just make sure to contact me and we can set up a time and place. Thank you for all of your prayers and support during these past 8 months. You all have been a very huge blessing to me. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ that are in Cape Verde. Pray that they would continue to seek God’s will and be willing to be used by Him.
“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”