June 15th was my last day of the 2023-2024 school year. This was a year filled with ups and downs both in and out of the classroom. Which at some point led me to question, ‘what’s next for me?’ as I tried to navigate through the highs and lows I faced this year.
So let me backup for just a minute to recap what has happened this past year and ultimately what has led me to the future I want to share with you!
One year ago at this time I was returning home from my time participating in the World Race program. Which was a full year of experiencing God at new heights and in new destinations all around the world. We spent the majority of our time investing in communities in need of a touch from heaven and that’s what we tried to bring to them. I loved my time out in the ‘big world’ living like Jesus and making new friends but I was excited for the homecoming that was coming.
Once I arrived home, I dove back into my U.S. lifestyle, church, friendships and teaching position. Though I was thrilled to be reunited with loved ones, the beauty of Maine, and the routine of being an educator, I didn’t anticipate some of the harsh realities of being back in America. For starters, our country is expensive and we live off of budgets wildly different than most of the world. I had learned to live on less than $5 a day, group budgets, and going without the finer things of life. Secondly, one of my beloved childhood friends passed unexpectedly and the wave of grief that overcame my heart wasn’t something I could or wanted to ignore. Thirdly, jumping back into the classroom with a new group of kids was more difficult than I wanted it to be. I faced the truth that these students in my classroom didn’t walk in the door with mutual respect for me, I simply had to earn it. This was a stark reality in comparison to the way we were treated around the world or how I had previously been treated as an educator in the past. I felt like I was steps behind everyone else coming home to America. It felt like I had to make up for lost time, like I had to figure out how to get these kids to see me as someone who cared for them and not just the people around the world, and like I had to work extra just to keep up with the cost of living.
When Hurricane Ian hit Florida last fall, my heart burdened for the millions of people whose homes were impacted. My organization from the World Race, Adventures In Missions (AIM), started a disaster relief mission trip program there in a neighborhood called Harlem Heights, and I jumped at the chance to get back to servanthood in partnership with them. I was fortunate to lead seven other Mainers on a trip there over Thanksgiving break and unknowingly to me, it would change the trajectory of my future.
Upon returning home from Ft. Myers, TWO life changing events occurred. The first being that one of the other participants, Olivia, became my roommate! She has been an answer to prayers I’ve prayed over the use of my spare bedroom since 2019. Not only that, she is an incredible person, friend, and light in this world. Additionally, upon return, staff from AIM reached out to me with interest that I join their short-term mission trip staff team. I couldn’t believe that they wanted me on their team and were basically offering me my dream job: to lead missions, encourage others to participate and share the stories from the mission field on a full-time basis.
So although this school year was one of the hardest to say ‘good-bye’ to in the end, as the kids came to know the heart of who I am and my desire for them to have a positive school experience, I am moving on from public education to pursue MY GREATEST PASSION – serving others as Jesus did, as a ministry activator with AIM.
It’s so fun because now I am headed back to Harlem Heights, Ft. Myers, FL to lead others on mission trips there. This will be my first 3 weeks of work on staff with AIM and I could not be more excited to begin this new role! We will be continuing the work to rebuild homes, build relationships with locals, and restore this community.
If you haven’t had the chance to meet with me personally to hear about this new chapter of my story, or what becoming a partner could look like, I would love to set up an opportunity to do that with you! This would be a great way for me to also hear updates of what God is doing in your own life.
I would like to formally invite you to consider joining my partnership team! There are four specific ways you can partner: becoming a prayer partner, a participant, a connector to others who may be interested in what we’re doing and an investor in this life changing work.
Would you please pray about how God may be leading you to partner with AIM in this next chapter of my life? After all, the work we do is all about helping the hurting, building community and encouraging others to do the same. Doesn’t that sound like something you want to be a part of? Your partnership as well as any investment you make will directly impact our ability to lead in this great work to create opportunities for lives to be changed forever.
If you’re interested in partnering with us, please go to: https://adventures.org/give/ with your gift preferenced to my support.
If you’re interested in setting up a time for us to connect please call, text, email or Facebook me!!
Email: [email protected]
To view available trips or more details about Adventures in Missions please visit: https://adventures.org/trips/
I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us here at Adventures in Missions and hearing about what God is doing in your life as well!
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