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Why Not America?

I just got back from the Missionary Training International Center (MTI) in Colorado Springs. It was a wonderful one month experience. I met new missionaries, as well as experienced ones, who are going to places all over the world. There were maybe 30 of us and their families.

MTI does a wonderful job of training both the individuals who are going and their children who travel with them. The training included linguistic skills, which help missionaries learn second languages in the countries to which we are going. As well, MTI taught us techniques and skills that would be useful when moving to another culture as we all settle into those new environments.

The most impactful part about MTI was the conversations we had and the relationships that were formed with fellow missionaries. Our time there bonded us together and provided us with a support team that I will grow alongside through our years of ministry. During my time of training my eyes where opened to the beauty of other cultures and helped me see the world through a new lens.However, I also learned about the hardships and heartbreak all around the world and saw again how much we are all in need of Christ.

So often I have been asked, “Why not America?” My time at MTI showed me that each of us is a missionary in our own place, but some of us are called to places further from home. We each serve Christ from exactly where we are. Going to a new place and sharing the blessings of my childhood and church community, actually enriches my own life and those of others as well. The opportunity God opened up for me in the Bahamas made a way for me to share what I have learned from so many of you about God’s love while growing up here. I can’t wait to share the Indiana Jones games that I learned from Crossroads Youth Ministry, to share the wonders of God’s outdoors that glorify His name and grow a deep appreciation for his artistic hand, and principles of christmanship and sportsmanship from Summer Best Two weeks. The deep values and lessons of friendship and women-hood that St. Paul’s Church community helped me discover. Even the good and hard lessons I learned from my time at Geneva College with the friends I made and lost. All of these things and more is what I can’t wait to share with my kiddos in the Bahamas and to begin spreading those gifts far and wide.

As beautiful of a place as the Bahamas is, there are still broken people there, just like in America. They need to feel and learn about this great treasure we all hold. That is why I am going to this beautiful country, and I can’t be more excited!

I officially leave on August 8th on a 6:30 am flight from Pittsburgh. Until then please be praying for my last month in America as I say goodbye to so many friends and family. Please also pray for safe travel, my spiritual relationship with the Lord to stay strong, and my transition to life in a new country overseas.

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