Back from the Other Side of the World!

Well, I’m back! I’ve been home now for four weeks, and I am so happy to be back with you all…. and to be able to speak the same language.

I am very grateful for my time in China, but at the same time, it was one of the harder times in my life. I was alone a lot with a language barrier and few women there for friendship. Even though Brad came twice, and I could video chat with him and others back home, I still felt very alone. Though I had a few believers around me, it was hard to sense God’s presence in the culture.
But even though I was typically quite alone, the Lord regularly met my needs. Often songs I knew and Scriptures I had memorized came to mind when I was afraid or sad. Sometimes when I went to the gym for physical therapy, I would take a verse with me and share it with those who were helping me.

Another joy I had was due to my Life Group friends. Before I left, the eight women gave me an accordion file with 90 handwritten notes, one for each day of my stay. What a joy it was, not only to read their encouraging notes but to realize how much they cared for me.

Through it all, I’ve realized how important two things are. First, it is so valuable to have God’s Word written on my heart, whether through reading, memorizing, or singing. Through this, he can minister to my heart powerfully even on an ordinary day in the United States. Second, I’ve recognized how much I shouldn’t take for granted the value of fellowship with God’s people. The Lord has been kind to not leave us as orphans but to put us in a family. And only in extreme cases like a trip to China do I ever want to separate myself from fellowship.

On a final note, here’s a quick update on my past four weeks. It took nearly two weeks to start feeling normal through good sleep patterns plus simply getting adjusted to my “former life” in the good ol’ US of A. The last two weeks both Brad and I feel like we’re getting in a groove in our routine at home. We have a daily exercise regimen, and we are slowly getting more consistent at that. Both of us were somewhat disappointed I didn’t come back with more improvement, but we’re grateful I did get some. Plus, we are working hard and praying that I will continue to improve. My main goal right now is to walk independently. By God’s grace, we will get there. Thanks to all of you for your constant kindness and prayer for me. I am eternally grateful!