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Looking Back 10 Years Ago

#10YearChallenge (2009-2019)

This July marks 10 years since we packed up, moved across the pond and set our feet for the first time on African sand.

Ten years. That’s a decade!

It makes me feel old. I’ve got 3 1/2 decades under my belt already. But in a lifetime, it can sometimes be just a snippet.

I think about how much has changed since then, our family has grown (more than doubled - from 2 to 5), my worldview expanded; I marvel at what these last 10 years have taught me.

It's been a path filled with ups and downs. It's been both the best of times, and the worst of times. It's been a race worth running.

So here’s the highlight reel of our last 10 years:

-we quit our jobs, sold our house

-moved to Africa as church planters; learned a new language, and a new culture

-learned to treat the sick in the African bush

-had our first baby

-moved back into the African bush with first baby, learned how to do life together

-came back to Canada for a Home Assignment

-moved to West Virginia to take the Tropical Medicine course at West Virginia University

-trained at the ECHO farm in Fort Myers, Florida

-moved back to our village in Tanzania

-started a demonstration plot to teach conservation agriculture techniques

-had baby #2

-endured malaria & dengue fever

-moved back to Canada

-hubby begins new role as assistant pastor at our home church

-had baby #3

-third baby gets sick with pneumonia, diagnosed with SCIDS; treatment plan brings us to bone marrow transplant

-we are discharged home after 3 months in hospital

-we are on isolation protocol for a year

-my Canadian nursing license gets reinstated

-start working again in the ER at our local health centre

-enter and complete the Arrow Leadership program

-begin seminary classes in the fall!

I’m grateful for these years. There’s been unending opportunities for God to shape my character, to grow in knowledge of Him, to join in His work in the world. There’s been grace extended, glorious victories, and so much healing that’s been seen - both on the outside and the inside.

What’s greater than this journey? That we partner with the Lord in His work in the world; in our families, our communities and the world around us. That our Creator God, loves and relates with us; sustains us through each day.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 2:22-23

Looking back on 10 years, I wish I could say I’ve reached some sort of righteousness...but it’s not the case. I’m a work in progress, clay in the Potter’s hand. I’ve got hang-ups and sin that are battled daily. I am constantly in need of God’s grace. There's not anything I can achieve on my own.

So, what's the next 10 years going to look like?? I'm not sure I have a clue :) But we take each step, day by day, by His grace, following and trusting Him, knowing that new mercies meet us every morning and that His faithfulness to us never ceases.

What's been on your highlight reel? Where do you find yourself on your journey?

Travelling by train; Tanzania to Livingstone, Zambia, 2010

Here's the Thiessen family, 2019!

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