It was 11 years ago today that I (Amber) signed my first contract with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) to be a Global Worker. Writing that out… makes me feel old. In working with PAOC, I’ve served as a Global Worker overseas and with Summit Pacific College’s OMEGA Program. When I truly reflect on what those 11 years have been filled with, more than feeling old, I’m overwhelmed by feelings of gratitude.
On the whole, the last 11 years have been pretty incredible. I’ve adventured through all of it with Matthew by my side. Through good times and bad, we’ve been better together. We have lived in 7 different homes, in 4 different countries, on 3 different continents. We’ve had 2 amazing kids, both of them born in Canada, while living out of suitcases at my parents house (my parents are wonderful, generous and selfless people who literally gave up their bedroom so that we could be more comfortable while bringing Zala into the world). We have been able to see so many amazing parts of the world through our work (and then our own love of travel… I’d way rather save my money for a plane ticket than new jeans!) . We’ve worked alongside some really wonderful people and learned invaluable lessons and skills along the way. We’ve been allowed to fail and to succeed. We’ve made friends around the world, and not just the kind of friends that you go for a coffee with. We’ve made the kind of friends that get on a plane and travel to the other side of the planet to come visit us. We’ve seen other friendships, from days gone by, fade away, and others not be affected at all by time or distance – and some even strengthened.
There have been bumps along the way. It hasn’t all been roses. Some of those bumps have been due to my own ignorance / mismanaged expectations / brokenness – others have been circumstantial. I suffered through culture shock, the shock of adjusting to being married, and the shock of a first and then second child! There have been visa issues, and language acquisition issues, policy issues, relationship issues…the list could go on. As I reflect on those things though, I see how God has used them to shape and refine me (an ongoing process I assure you!).
So as I look to the future with the PAOC I feel hopeful, I feel better prepared, better equipped, and more ready. I have a peace and assurance in my heart, stronger than any I have had before. I’m believing for good things in these next years, not necessarily easy things (because we all know… life isn’t easy / convenient / comfortable), but good things.