So Friday was the last part of my 10,000 Fathers journey on this trip. I was utterly exhausted from so much going on, and spending so much time with lots of people – I was yawning my head off but it was a really sweet time.
We all met together in a house owned by the church and shared breakfast together. Something I have been so struck this week, but especially over the reunion time together, is just how different people are – different personalities and characters. I will admit I find it hard with people who aren’t easy to read, if they are more closed I don’t know where I stand and if they are a mega-loud extrovert I don’t know what to expect!
In the past this has caused me to write people off. But I am getting so much better at not doing that. I’m looking deeper and learning to appreciate their differences and see the way that these people bring so much to those around them. There are those who organise others, those who dream big and have amazing visions, those who bring joy, and those who bring peace. We all have people we are more comfortable with and people we naturally gravitate towards, but when we only stick to these people we can miss the beauty and blessing that others bring. This week reminded me to push through to see this.
It was really special for me to hear from different students as we fed back what impact 10000 Fathers had had on our lives, and how we wanted to see more growth and change in our churches and our culture. It is a really incredible ministry and the fruit from it is already so beautiful to see, and I can’t wait to see how this grows, and people’s hearts and lives are changed dramatically by this heart of discipleship.
I have never felt so English in my life than this week! People have squealed at how much they love my accent and I have been asked to say several “English phrases”. The excitement went up a notch when I said I live in Surrey – “Do you know Ed Sheeran and the Queen?” It was fun at the reunion when we were seeing which student had traveled the furthest and I was able to trump it, (no pun intended) flying from England!
It has been such an honour (honor?) this week spending time with people, growing and going deeper in relationships. My life has been so impacted by incredible leaders and I thank God again and again for them. I can’t recommend this ministry highly enough. They are such servant-hearted and humble leaders who have welcomed me into their family. I have experienced so much healing, breakthrough and joy over this last fourteen months, and this week has been a real precious part of my journey. My tutors knew how much of a big deal this was for me as they saw me at the beginning of the course when I was shying away from conversations, feeling so overwhelmed and hiding behind my music. They have seen such a change this week. That is simply through the mercy of our incredible God!
It is always sad saying goodbye to people, but I know this is still just the beginning of my journey in many ways. I know God has so much in store and I can’t wait to see what that looks like.
Throughout my trip, people have blessed me with kindness, driven me to places, hung out out with me, treated me, and today a lovely friend, Shauna, drove me from the reunion to Marietta and another host family who have also showered me with kindness and hospitality.
I am very ready to come home now, but will make the most of my last full day tomorrow to do a little bit of sightseeing before flying home to my precious family.
Many blessings to you from Atlanta,