Notre-Dame Cathedral. Paris, France
I was hoping to write a Merry Chritmas blog, but failed. I pray that everyone had a joyous time spent with friends and family, remembering that Jesus Christ is worth celebrating year-round!! I pray that the time we take to praise the Lord for His gift of sending the Son doesn't stop just because Christmas is over!
Although I miss my friends and family dearly during this time of year, the Lord blessed me with some new and old friends. I got to spend Christmas in Grenoble, France with some missionaries who I had "met" through e-mail and phone conversations a couple years ago. There are also in language school as they prepare to move to Mali, Africa. They invited me to stay over Christmas and we had an amazing time of fellowship, fun, and FOOD! We spent a lot of time visiting Christmas marchés (outdoor markets with tons of stands selling homemade goods, crafts and amazing food!), watching classic christmas movies (like Elf!) and laughing. It was a true blessing!
Some amazing friends from my home church, Sojourn, also put a fun video together filled with messages from friends who are part of community groups who have "adopted me" as a missionary. It was an unexpected, overwhelming gift that I have re-played many times!
Then, on the 29th of December one of my best friends from Louisville, KY along with her parents, came to Switzerland for the week! Although the trip started off with me over-sleeping, missing my train to meet them at the airport, and some American credit card issues.....the visit was amazing and we have stories to keep us laughing for years to come!! It was quite surreal to have them here and I was sorry to see them go, but was so grateful for the time with them. I was able to function as a mini-translator during the trip which was fun and helped me build some confidence using French in everyday life.
School starts up again on January 9th and will continue for me until the end of March. I had originally planned to leave Switzerland in Mid-February and was quite determined not to extend my stay; but after several people advised me to stay, including the doctors in Togo, I decided that the Lord's wisdom was speaking through others, and my own pride of "finishing in 3 months" should take a back seat. I know that the extended time hear will only be better in being able to speak clearly with my patients and their families in Togo, and it is a gift.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and sending words of encouragement! I just found out that my mom is coming to Switzerland for about 6 days on February 1st. Please pray for safe travel for her. We will be celebrating her completion of cancer treatment and my 31st birthday, so I think it will be a very sweet time together.
Press on in the faith
no matter the cost
for He will be waiting
when all else is lost.
Grace and Peace