When I went to the YWAM Amsterdam base this spring for the Shine Seminar which is a 6 week training course on human trafficking God spoke to me at the end of my time there to return to Canada at the end of June, to spend the summer there to rest and connect with people and then in the fall He is going to open up the doors for next season to begin in my life. I honestly cannot remember when I had spent the whole summer months in Canada so it has definitely been a pretty long time maybe even 10 years so it was really great to have a bit of a break this summer just to rest and connect with people in Canada and of course spend time with my family too.
On June 29th I took an overnight bus ride from Târgu Mureş, Romania to Budapest, Hungary. It was a very long and exhausting bus ride and for the first time ever since I got my cat I took Minnie with me as well which was definitely an adventure in itself. When the bus pulled out from the bus station parking lot it was such an overwhelming moment for me because this time I didn’t know if I would be returning back to Romania and if I do I have no idea when that would be so this is the reason why I took Minnie with me on this trip back to Canada and I cannot even put into words how very thankful I am that Minnie can still be a part of life. I just love how God cares for the very details of our lives even including our pets as well.
Romania is not only a country I had lived in for 9 years but it also became my home and I believe it had left a huge part of my heart there when I left on June 29th as well. This summer was such a blessing to be able to have the time to rest and spend time with my family and also connect with people too. To be completely honest though I had struggled with a lot of up and down emotions during the summer months especially of leaving Romania, trying to help Minnie adjust to her new home, some relationships that God wanted me to work on while I was home and just the question of the unknown of my future was consistently on my mind as well.
My summer months are usually extremely busy with ministry during this time so it was definitely a change of pace for me but I am also really grateful that God gave me this time, to slow down a bit and to take some time to rest as well which was such a blessing from Him. I definitely do not want to take for granted these couple of months I was able to take a break to rest because it was so refreshing to be able to take some time with the Lord to spend time with Him, to read a couple of great books that really spoke to me a lot (Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for by Rick Warren and God Knows my Name by Beth Redman) and even to be able to go swimming at my Mom’s house which I haven’t done I think in like 9 years.
I think many times as missionaries we do not know how we can slow down and take a bit of a break because I have personally experienced it myself even to the point of almost getting burned out on the mission field so now I know that it is totally okay to give yourself permission to take a bit of break, slow down, rest and process things that are going in your life. I really believe in my heart that this is what God wants us to do at times too and if we don’t do it then sometimes He may even force us to take a break because He knows us much better than we know ourselves.
Some of my summer highlights that I am so very thankful to God for are:
- Celebrated Canada Day in Canada on July 1st which I haven’t done in years.
- Attended two Human Trafficking awareness events (the first one was on Saturday July 16th and the second one was on Monday September 12th)
- Went to the Kingdom Bound festival with my Mom and my brother Jonathan (July
20th – 24th) at the Darien Lake amusement park in New York State which was a treat because I haven’t been to the festival since 2007 so it was definitely a blessing from God to be able to go especially that it was the 30th anniversary this year. It was also so much fun to see some of my favorite bands in concert for the first time as well (e.g. Stars Go Dim, For King & Country, Rend Collective, Matthew West, etc), spend time with God in the worship tent and also hear Nick Vujicic speak as well.
- Received my acceptance on July 21st to attend the SOMD (School of Ministry Development) this fall at the YWAM LA base. It is YWAM secondary school on leadership training that I will go to from September 24th – December 18th (I will write more on this in another blog).
- Enjoyed being in Canada during the Summer Olympic games when it was in Rio, Brazil (August 5th – 21st).
- Visited my relatives in Rochester, NY (August 6th – 7th) which was a weekend of
reunions especially when we had a family picnic with some of my cousins and their families and I also was able to see where my Grandma lives at the retirement home where she moved in this year in May.
- Visited my relatives in Waterloo (August 20th) which was a real blessing to not only see everyone again but also to meet two new additions to the family (my cousin Aaron and his wife had a baby boy in February of this year and my cousin Deanne and her husband had a baby girl in June of this year).
- Shared about my journey as a missionary at a worship and prayer gathering that a couple who supports me organized it in Toronto (August 27th).
There are many more highlights that I could share but these are some of the main ones that stick out to me that I am very grateful to God for giving me these opportunities to do and take part of. I am also so very grateful for all of the times God gave me this summer to be able to meet and connect with individual people who are interested to hear what is going on in my life right now and it was a real blessing from God to be able to connect with some of my friends and supporters as well.
My heart is also filled with gratitude for God giving me an opportunity to share at my
home church in Canada (Christian Life Centre) on Sunday September 18th and then I had a prayer send off at my Mom’s house on Friday September 23rd with a small group of 9 people that came out to hear a bit of my journey of where God has me right now and to pray for me before I left for the YWAM LA base on September 24th (more on that in the next blog).
I would like to end by thanking God for giving me an opportunity to spend my summer months in Canada even though I did have my struggling moments throughout my time at “home” especially with my emotions being all over the place at times and it was the first summer for me to experience a separation with my parents which was quite difficult for me but I do thank God for giving me His grace during this time. It was such a blessing from God to be able to take the time to rest, spend time with my family and also connect with many of my friends and supporters as well.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you had an amazing summer and it was a restful one as well!