It was a brisk and sunny afternoon. On Sundays, Ray and I enjoy heading over to Las Colinas to walk around Lake Carolyn. We enjoy watching the Mallards and the White Pekin ducks paddle in the water, the many dogs and their owners sauntering on the trail around the lake, and the kids splashing (when it’s not so chilly) in the fountains. It’s a peaceful environment that lends well to conversations about the past, present, and future.

As the new year was quickly around the corner, Ray and I were talking about our word for 2021. The word that we felt God gave us for 2020 was vision. We had high hopes and dreams for 2020, as I’m sure most people did. We began the year filled with excitement and great anticipation with the plans we had carefully laid out. We were eager to learn how God would speak to us about this word given to us, although I would be amiss if I did not say I had my own preconceived notions about what I expected the year to be. Needless to say, the year definitely did not look as we thought. All of our plans were changed or were severely altered. However, God did give us vision. He was faithful. He continued to outline our steps. He provided for us financially. He protected us physically. He gave us little gifts of encouragement along the way. He stretched our faith and our trust. We learned valuable lessons, some harder than others. The vision He gave just looked different.

We had almost finished our walk and were heading to our car when a word popped into my mind: Hope. We both felt as if that would be our word for 2021. We are hopeful for what lies ahead and we are looking forward to how God speaks to us this year. We do have dreams and plans, but we are learning to loosely hold those plans in our hands knowing that our Creator is in control. Our hope and our confidence rests in Him.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings
like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

Our Life Abroad

I was around 13 or 14 when I first felt called to missions. I was sitting in the church I had grown up in when a guest missionary from Southeast Asia came to speak. As he shared his personal story, something stirred inside me and my interest was immediately piqued. I certainly had no idea what that meant as a young teenager, but the interest never seemed to leave.

My interest in missions was something that I believe probably started way before 13. I can remember being as young as 7 or 8 where I was drawn to learning about other cultures. We used to have missions banquets at my childhood church, where we would be able to experience different foods from around the world. (Of course there was a lot more involved in those banquets, but I vaguely recall the bigger details. However, I do remember eating Chinese rock sugar. Those who know me well would not be at all surprised by me remembering candy).

My interest in missions and culture eventually turned into a calling, which then turned into a passion. Fast forward twenty-ish years later and here we are: Ray is almost done with his masters program (this Spring!) and we are in the application process of becoming missionaries. Our goal is to leave for the field in 2022. We are both excited for our journey and we will see where the Lord leads us.

Welcome to our our life abroad!
(Well, for now, welcome to our life in our home country until we leave.)