Why is Sibi Julie so excited?
(Besides the fact that she had her cleft lip repaired a few weeks ago?)
Because today is marks one year that I arrived to the Africa Mercy!
I started here, in Freetown, Sierra Leone:
And after one year (filled with hard work, prayer, laughter, good food, bad food, new friends, old friends, loneliness, companionship, homesickness, surprises, several plane rides, lots of movies, encouraging words, learning experiences, a few tears, sunburns, chimpanzees, starry nights, surreal sunsets, and too many cute kids to count)...
...I've ended up here in Lomé, Togo! (Nestled quietly next to the two small gray ships that comprise the Togolese Navy, no less!)
And needless to say, I couldn't have gotten here without YOU! Yes, YOU!
YOU, Taylor, with your prayers solely for my luggage.
YOU, Kari Ann, with your overwhelming hospitality and encouragement.
YOU, Moma (and Popa too!), with your faithful blog comments. (Even if you didn't recognize your only grandson when I surprised you with my early homecoming!)
YOU, Kelly and Mary Elaine, with your ability to pretty much always make me laugh.
YOU, all ye Funterns, with the sheer joy you bring to my life.
YOU, family (and Alyssa!), with your unique ability to both drive me crazy and keep me sane at the same time, all through love.
I so wish that I could thank each and every one of you by name, but unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day. If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you somehow played a role in my being here right at this moment. Maybe you said a prayer, maybe you wrote a check, maybe you sent me an awesome CD, maybe you shared an encouraging word when I was feeling down, maybe you just said something to make me laugh. Regardless of your involvement, you have all been so instrumental and I can't thank you enough.
Here's to a crazy, wild, wonderful, life-changing, awe-inspiring year!