Wednesday 21 February 2024


Two years ago, the day after I returned from home assignment and being gone for two months, there was a knock at my flat door. My downstairs neighbour brought me a Tupperware of potato salad his wife had made to welcome me home again.

Czech potato salad is a very good thing! And it was so sweet to be welcomed back in this way. It is entirely possible that I simply popped the lid open and dug in with a fork to enjoy it in all its creamy goodness.

And that's what I'm thinking about as I reintroduce myself to this little space. I have missed it here!

It's funny to look at the last few posts. And it's weird to think about all that the last four years have held -

Years of a pandemic that when I last posted felt like it had been going on forever, and yet we were barely just beginning. The rules became looser, and tightened so strictly that I moved in with friends here and we all ended up getting COVID together.

Somewhere in the middle of all that, I spent a year reading, researching, and writing my dissertation on the importance of self-care for single, second-culture missionary leaders. I got to graduate with distinction in my Master's Degree in late 2021.

It feels like the pandemic ended on February 24th 2022, the day I awoke to the news that Russia had began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and texts to say our dear teammates were on their way. Thus began months of hosting teammates as they co-ordinated buses of refugees out of and buses of aid into Ukraine from my little town four hours from the Ukraine border.

In 2022, I got a new role and became the leader of the team I've served on since I moved to Czech. I still get to lead the summer ministry team too. And it's been a learning and growing season as I continue to try to steward well the gifts and calling God has entrusted to me, while hopefully helping others to flourish in their own callings.

2023 held an operation that was the start of a long process to heal a twenty-four-year-old injury and the resulting trauma. So many, many appointments and four-hour trains to and from Prague where my operation happened.

And those are just the bigger things, the larger landmarks of these last few years. There have also been so many dear people, and so many laughs. Many mountains have been climbed, literally and metaphorically. I've read many, many books - for recreation and for learning. I've hosted lots of dinners and gathered around countless tables.

I'm now firmly in my mid-thirties and am probably starting to have a face that shows that. There have been prayers miraculously answered, and some in ways other than what I've wanted or that I'm still repeating. There have been hard-won lessons learnt, and questions with which I continue to wrestle.

I've written prayer update emails, and posts on social media, but I've missed this longer form and writing out my thoughts for this little space. So I'm returning. And I wish I could welcome us all back with potato salad. But, for now, I'll just leave these words and say thank you for stopping by. It's good to welcome you back.