I didn’t mean to stay with Youth With A Missions for over a decade, but here I am. In 2005 I completed my Discipleship Training School and soon after hopped on a plane for a secondary school in healthcare. The two year commitment learning and serving in the nations through a local YWAM campus turned into another two and another. I loved my life as a single twenty-something with so much freedom to pack my bags and head to India or East Africa when opportunities arose. I loved living in community, sharing a room full of girls, laughing and weeping and praying and dancing in so many beautiful places.
Along the way I met a boy whose passions and values aligned closely with mine, although the outworking of it all looked a bit different. The practice I had at making two year commitments gave me a bit of muscle and stamina to make a 70 (or more!) year commitment to follow Jesus with him side by side. And then we brought a few kids into the world and daily we are trying to figure out what it means to be doing this all together as a family. Nearly every week looks different as we share responsibilities at home and at the campus and in the neighbourhood.
From a young age my kids have experienced the beauty in diverse cultures. Despite differences in language, food, clothes and worldview, children know how to connect and play. We miss having our kids’ grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins nearby and all the support that comes from family. There is an ache that probably will always be with us. But my kids have more honorary aunts and uncle and cousins than they know what to do with and we are eternally grateful for those who love our kids and make our life easier in the process. When my husband occasionally travels for a couple of weeks I realise the richness of community I have around me, whether its dinners at the campus or having friends come for a sleepover, or a couple of guys to help rescue a table I found on the side of the road. YWAM Wollongong deeply values doing the journey as a family, whether you are married or single, 5 years old or 55, there is a place for you. It’s a privilege to experience God’s presence in some of the ‘least-reached’ places on the planet, and to get to do it all with such good friends.