Glimpses from the Island: A Photo Essay

Those who know me well, and even many who don’t, usually know one thing to be true about me: I am not the person for soundbites. When I tell a story, I want to tell the whole story – details and all. This is especially true for experiences I hold close to my heart, as I do for this recent trip to Cuba.

However, with the recent popularity of Cuba in the news, I hesitated posting this at all. I don’t like to chime in on trending topics of conversation for the sake of social relevance. It’s all mostly white noise, anyway. But this is different.

My story with this island began long before I was born. I can trace my way through the pieces found in my parents, and their parents, and their parents before that. In some ways, I thought that was true before, but now I know it is. And the stories I have to tell as a result, no matter what is buzzing on the news, have little to do with policy and everything to do with people and the places in between. Continue reading “Glimpses from the Island: A Photo Essay”

…And Back to Guate I Go

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The month of October has been a bit of a whirlwind – between booking a last minute flight to Atlanta to attend ministry training, reconnecting with many people, meeting many more, and receiving more supporters – I’m at a bit of a loss for words.

I am preparing a newsletter and a few new blog posts in an attempt to process the ups and downs, so stay tuned for a few new stories that will hopefully shake you up in the best kind of way as they did for me.

That being said, I’m headed back to Guatemala… TOMORROW! My bags are packed. My passport is ready. My heart is at rest. I think I’m still in some shock that this is even happening, because it all felt so impossible for so long. But the Lord is faithful, and what He speaks comes to pass. Even with no words, my heart whispers the unspeakable melodies of his steady and intricate love.

Concerning my support raising, I have reached 83% in my monthly support goal. It’s definitely not too late for if anyone is interested in reaching out to join my support team for any amount on a one-time or monthly basis! I’ve been given permission to return early to Guatemala before because of a really special project I am a part of that I will be announcing in greater detail later this week. I am still looking for partners who will consider joining my monthly support team at any amount, however. If 7 people commit at $50 a month for the next year, then I would be fully supported!!! (Click here to give.)

Please keep me in your prayers as I travel and as I am in the homestretch of raising financial support for the 2014-2015 year. Thank you for all who are praying, supporting, encouraging, and loving! It totally takes a village, and I am blessed to have an incredible village.

And to those who have emailed me recently and still haven’t heard from me… I am working my way down the list and will get back to you sometime this week! I thank you for your patience – it means so much.

U.S.A., it’s been real. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed evenings with the family, Saturday mornings browsing Target, small road trips down wide open roads, and the smiling Florida sun.

Guatemala, I’m ready for new evenings with my other family, cobblestone roads leading to volcanoes, perfect breakfasts with rooftop views, and flowers flowers flowers everywhere.

Sending my love! xo.

In which I move to Guatemala

Exactly four weeks from today, I graduate college.
About three weeks after that, I move to Guatemala.

I’ve been thinking of polished ways to say this for some time now, but there’s no way around it. So there it is. Bam. I’m graduating college. Bam. I’m moving to Central America.

A few people have asked me how I feel about it. If it’s hit me. If I’m keeping a daily countdown. The answer to all of these questions is no.

Am I excited? Um, YES. Of course. Duh. Am I scared? Well, I think the question you’re really asking here is Hey Michelle, are you a human? In which case, the answer is also yes. Of course. Duh.

Occasionally, it occurs to me as I drive to school in the morning that there are a limited number of quiet morning drives that are left. I catch myself staring at street signs, trying to absorb every last detail of their American flavor for the moments where I am sure I will miss them. I savor the seconds I have left with my bookshelves. My pack stares back at me as I try to finish homework. I wonder how I’ll fit my whole life inside of it.IMG_4242

I read a quote a few weeks ago that says if something both terrifies and amazes you, then you should do it. Of course, this is within reason. Discretion is totally advised.

(Please don’t go swimming recklessly with sharks because you’re terrified of them but amazed by what you saw in Sharknado. Please, no.)

But as I think about packing my life up and moving to Central America for six months, I’m both scared (asdfghjkl) and amazed (!!!!!!) at all the possibilities that lie ahead.

But I know it will be good because Jesus is good. Maybe that’s naïve. A few people have told me that. But I know his heart and I trust him. He’s proved himself again and again and again and again. He loves me. He takes care of me. He has good plans.

In the last few months, I’ve come face to face with the stunning realization that I matter to him. My heart matters to him. This little life of mine is important to him, and he pays attention. He hears me. And his heart for adventure is calling out to mine.

He looks at me and says, “You are worth every risk.”
And for the first time in my life, I’m starting to believe him.

People keep asking me why I’m moving to Guatemala and it’s been tough to summarize, but here it is: I want the heartbeat of heaven. I want my life to echo the love that Jesus pours out over me. And for this season of my life, this is what it looks like. Moving to Guatemala. Joining this missions base. Crossing one bridge at a time.

I’m moving to Guatemala because there’s a bigger story unfolding and I’ve been invited by the King to be a part of it. And I don’t want to miss that. Whatever the cost, I don’t want to miss his heart.

Because beyond everything else that vies for my attention, my heart sings one song, and it’s this: I honestly believe he’s worth every risk, too.

If you’d like more information about how to support my trip, please visit my Support page. If you have questions or encouragement, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact me!