In four days I’ll board the first of four planes that will take me to Melbourne, Australia.
Now that I’m finally leaving (For real, this time.) I find myself driven by a new sort of passion.
When I first went to Australia two years ago I was driven by, among other things, a raw passion to do something – whatever God wanted me to – about modern day slavery. I knew that whatever I did wouldn’t be enough to change the entirety of this problem, but I knew that whatever I did would honor God as long as I followed Him.
I call it raw passion because even after a lifetime of learning about injustice, a lifetime of wanting to be an abolitionist, it still burned in me fairly unchecked. It was mostly undirected and unrefined, but not in a bad way. It motivated me toward something a little unclear, but looming above me just the same. I think as long as you hand the rawness over to God, offer it to Him, then it’s a valuable thing; so I tried to do that.
On Monday I began emailing contacts in Australia and New Zealand, to make sure we can reconnect. As I thought about the future, about the past, about what I pray can be accomplished in the next two years, I recognized a new kind of passion. After fourteen months back in America, after maturing a bit, coming to a new place of familiarity with God, learning that faith is how I stand in the times that seem impossible, and learning how to be a better missionary & HOPE61 trainer, the passion that drives me is stronger and progressive. If what pushed me before was a wildfire formed in a crazy line of varying height, what pushes me now is a strong flame that moves forward and rises higher. I think I return to Australia with the same passion to do something about today’s slave trade, but now with a definite shape and goal to it.
My first year overseas with HOPE61 was all about learning, exploring, and trial and error.
I have no doubt that my second and third year overseas hold those same characteristics. Now, though, there is a plan and somewhere to go. And I have a great teammate! Will it be a seamless adventure? Of course not. But it’s an adventure that’s going somewhere.
All glory to God for that.
Over the past few months some new people have joined me on this adventure. Whether you’ve “liked” my Facebook page, sent me an encouraging note, sacrificed financially, shared this ministry, or prayed for me, I consider you a part of the team. Thank you! I could never do this alone.
If you’re new to this journey or just want to catch up, here are a few blog posts to fill in the blanks.