Thursday, May 26, 2011

How Far I’ve Come but… Where am I Going?

This week I had a girl from the States staying with me and my family in Korhogo. It was a fun and eye opening experience. First of all, I was her TRANSLATOR!!! Please, everyone keep in mind that I didn’t know ANY French before I came. Can I just say praise God, I am learning French?! Having an outsider in my house just reminds me of how it was when I first got here and didn’t know how anything worked. Somehow, this place that was once strange and distant has become home. This is my family here. And I am proud to show them off to anyone that should happen to pass through Logokaha (my little village). I know the drill now and that feels so good. I am no longer just a visitor.

So these last couple of days has shown me how far I have come since February even. But the last sentence about not being a visitor anymore is what makes it so hard to think about where I am going. Because that brings the possibility that it might be away from here. We have begun discussing plans for next year. (Pause here to say that this year is going by sooo fast!) The leader of Journey Corps wants us to each be thinking about whether we could stay here in Cote d’Ivoire to be leaders for the next group. My first reaction was no, then it changed to maybe, and then I thought that that was something God really wanted for me. My pastor here told me that there would be an opportunity to start reaching out to a near by village to hopefully plant a church there. My heart rose, this is what I want to do! We set the date for the 28th (this Saturday) to go and make initial connections. Just a couple of days ago my pastor said that the village is really closed to having Christians come. Missionaries have been trying to get into this village for years. My heart sank. This opportunity made me think God wanted me to stay and help this get started.

Yesterday, I was missing the States. It is not that I am not happy here. I just know that so much is happening with my family and friends stateside and that is hard not to be apart of. Every time I go on facebook it seems there is a baby being born or someone getting married. The reality is that life keeps going even though I am not there….shocking right!? Today, I was reading in a book about how many times we should do the thing we are most afraid of. For me that happens to be returning to the US. I studied International Missions and that is what I am doing right now. If I go back to the States, what will I do? If I go back I have to make decisions about the future, if I stay here the decision is made for the moment. In some ways staying seems like it would just be prolonging the inevitable of returning to the States for next steps. So at this point I am thinking of returning this fall. I would love for you to be praying, though for clarity in this area. I know that God wanted me to come, but does He want me to stay?

Thank you so much for your support through this journey…it is definitely not over yet and I am thrilled to have you along with me, to debrief with and get an outside perspective. Let me know if you have any thoughts for what I could do next! I pray for you and thank God for you daily. Merci et que Dieu te benisse.
<3 Heidi


  1. Heids, I love what you wrote. Doing the thing your scared of? This thought I just encountered an hour ago. I had lunch with a girl from my ministry at Northeast of the Well. God had a huge part in it and I realized that fear is keeping me from stepping out and being bold. I have put my securities in a lot of things I shouldn't and when those things are taken from me, I am left empty and lost. Of course I see how God always has my back and always has a way for me to go...towards Him.
    I think you're on to something. Praying.

  2. Heidi, I totally understand the decision making roller-coaster. Phil and I went through it when making the decision to come to Cote d'Ivoire and Journey Corps. It doesn't get easier with age, especially if our old nature jumps in to complicate things. What does get easier is learning to trust that God can and will use us wherever we go (2Cor. 2:12-15). If you look at those few verses, it shows that though God opened a door for Paul, he didn't want to go through it and moved on, yet God used him mightily anyway. I love this passage because it shows the tremendous freedom we have in the journey, as long as we are surrendering ourselves to be used by him wherever we go. It's the journey, and our obedience along the way that is pleasing to the Lord. So don't fret. Phil and I would love to have you stay and be a part of the leadership for the next team coming out; and we would love having a friend there that we know to help us get acclimated. BUT, I know you well enough, I think, to know that wherever you go, you will continue to seek God's direction and your surrender to it. We're praying for you as you think it through.
    P.S. Even if you decide to leave in the Fall, doesn't mean you're gone forever does it??

  3. thank you for sharing!! I am praying for you and everyone out there as you try to make these decisions. Just know that whatever you do God is directing.

  4. Heidi,
    This is a beautifully written and authentic post. Well done! I can empathize with your thoughts and deliberations. I also agree with Aaron above "...whatever you do God is directing." Sometimes we become so overwhelmed (paranoid?) thinking that we may miss God when we make a decision, which, when you think about it, is pretty self-centered, huh? It is never about us and is always about Him. He is ALWAYS for us, even in our decisions. What a great Abba we have. Blessings to you this day. ~ Melanie

  5. Praying for your heart, for clarity, and for peace with whatever you do decide. I love you! So proud of you! And so amazed that your French is coming along so well & you've adjusted so well! I miss you like crazy!