When I was preparing to leave the United States I definitely thought about all that I was giving up. I sold my beloved Jeep and most of what I owned, gave up my downtown San Diego apartment, left my nice paying job, distanced myself from friends and family, and ultimately departed from a life I was familiar with.  I was becoming a bit of a matyr in my head.

Anyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29

I had chalked that verse up to one of those nice "storing up treasures in heaven" verses.

Fast forward two weeks later and I have come to realize how much more I have been provided since I have arrived in Lilongwe. I have moved into a house with a huge yard that normally houses a family of ten. There are only three of us living here. My bedroom is bigger than my last apartment. We have a full time gardener and a part time housekeeper for very little money by U.S. standards. My classroom facilities are amazing. My living expenses are far less than they were in the States. Ultimately, I have been blessed and getting the experience of a lifetime.

I do recognize that cross-cultural stress will most likely set in at an inopportune time. I will probably become quite frustrated by the unfamiliar and will be longing to return to the United States. For now, I am acknowledging that God really does look out for us on so many levels and not only meets our needs but our desires as well.

I've always wanted a big table so family and friends could sit around and enjoy a meal together, play games, Bible studies, book clubs, really just enjoy one another's company.  A table always feels more intimate than the living/family room.  I got my wish.  So far my roommates and I have had a couple of big get togethers and I believe we are going to make Tuesday night dinner and game night. 


  1. JEN! I LOVE THIS BLOG! Seriously looked at every picture and video so far. So happy to hear that your assimilation is going well. Lindsay and I are so incredibly proud of you and look forward to more posts! God Bless you Jen! We love you! - Tim & Linds

  2. Jen, I am so pleased that God is indeed showing you the "Plans He has for you." It has taken awhile, but isn't it wonderful to see that He really does "Doeth all things well." He makes it all worthwhile to be obedient and follow Him. Love,

  3. Hey Reph's, so glad to hear that you're enjoying the blog. Miss you guys!