Its been awhile since I had a Saturday afternoon with a chance to write (ok and look for a reason to procrastinate) so I will do my best to quickly sum up the past month or so. To start we had a great “last family vacation” with the 6 of us on the most travel intensive trip yet! My amazing mom got us all free tickets using miles to go to Tahiti and New Zealand for the two week Christmas break! We rented a 50 foot sailboat in Tahiti and saw the islands that way. We decided to skip the romantic hotel rooms over the water and rough it a bit. It was beautiful and only half of us got sea sick! Our Christmas present was just being in Bora Bora and enjoying each others company. (It actually went better than I thought, no one got thrown overboard) After living on a boat for a week it was off to NZ for a road trip of the south island. we saw a lot in a short amount of time, but it was enough to confirm that I would happily work as a sheep shearer just so I could live there. We did a little of everything from hiking on a glacier to staying on a dairy farm. It is so unpopulated and rugged with beautiful scenery it was hard to leave! One thing that made coming home a little easier was the news that Brent had decided he would move out to CA! He came for a visit luckily when it was beautiful weather and I think that helped seal the deal. I am so impressed with his courage to pack up everything, drive across the country and live in a new place. Lets just say I am excited 🙂
Sorry about the lack of a picture, its not cooperating
This has been long overdue and somebody has been giving me a hard time about it, so here it goes! If you had told me six months ago that I would have a new best friend who happened to be a boy, let alone be an amazing boy, well I probably would have just laughed in your face. Little did I know that over the last five months I would be spending countless hours on the phone, perfecting my texting skills and gone on my five dates in five different states! I will try to keep it short and sweet 🙂 So, no we did not meet on facebook, but in June our mutual and wonderful friends Kirsten and Dave thought to themselves, hmm, Brent and Nicole might get along well. So four years after meeting at their (Kirsten and Daves) wedding Brent Hill called Nicole Macbeth and little did he know what he was getting himself into. After getting to know each other other over phone and email for two months we had a much anticipated meeting in Kansas, lets just say it went well. After that it was Utah, Iowa, California, New York and most recently CA again. I always felt that God was teaching me to be patient, patient, patient and wait for the right person, someone who would appreciate me with all my quirks. I guess Brent was praying for the same thing! But the whole patience thing is still key as we live half way across the country from each other, wohoo. We are happy with how things are going as we continue to get to know each other day by day and visit by visit, it just gets a little better every time! 🙂 Thankful to have someone to walk with… More to come!
Well, I made it on the plane, and a few more planes after that! After my tearful goodbye to Mercy Ships and Liberia I sat on the plane with a heavy heart not ready to leave the country, experiences and people I had met. I left with the feeling that I am not done yet, so I pray that God will continue to remind me of all there is to do and that I will have the courage to do it as far as serving in a Kingdom that is worth fighting for. I know that I love being in new places, traveling and having unique experiences and I pray that God would show me how to combine that with a stronger desire to see His love spread to those who are desperate for it. It already seems like a dream that I was even there since already so much has happened since I left and already thinking about all that is before me with life at home. I know I will not forget my experiences but I am afraid that I will not remember the details, so good thing I took about 300 pictures! 🙂 I am so grateful for those of you who were with me in prayer and took the time to read and even comment on this thing, thanks friends!! (I love talking about this so please ask me any questions you have!)
Alrighty, now for part two… After a lengthy flight back to NY I met up with my mom and brother John and we headed up to Bar Harbor Maine and Boston for five days. I had never been to that part of the country so it was a pleasant surprise! We enjoyed lots of scenic bike rides, hikes and lobster! We only had 24 hours in Boston so we hit the ground running and saw more than I think some people see in a week, but thats the Macbeths for you:) From there it was off to Bermuda to meet up with my cousins for a week in a place that we had not been to for years but had many memories from when we were kids. We had a great time on the motorbikes, since you can’t rent cars, going to the beach, plenty of girl talk and lots of laughs! It reminded me how thankful I am to have such a great family. 🙂 Then I was back to the JFK airport (for the 4th time) and headed to Oklahoma city to visit the wonderful Mark and Kelly! I am so thankful for their hospitality and willingness to show me around. I even made them drive me up to Wichita for my next visit to Dave and Kirsten! (Thanks guys:) It was good to have some Pepp friends around even if only for a little bit, what a blessing friends can be! As a grand finale I spent a week and a few days in Utah with the fam. It was the first time the six of us had been in the same place all summer! We did the usual ATV’s fishing, kayaking and even rock climbing (I know what you are thinking, I was surprised I could do it too) After 12 hours in the car I now find myself in the weird transition time that I knew was coming but came all too soon. I am filled with two months worth of memories and pictures, which I have to hold onto, yet also have to keep looking forward to what is next, which can leave one feeling, well, a bit overwhelmed, but in a good way.
(Ok,Ok I know I left out some important details about a certain someone, check back in a few days:) )
Well friends this is not how I quite planned to end my time here, but I am in a bit of a hurry and have to go to the airport soon! I just wanted to take minute and say how thankful I am to have had these four weeks in this unique country and equally unique missions setting. I have a lot of thoughts on my time here and when I have computer access again I will continue this in part two. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, gotta fly!!
Well it has been an interesting past week to say the least. There must be something about week three that they dont tell you about. The best way to sum it up is week one I felt overwhelmed in a good way and just happy to be here. Week two I had adjusted to being here but had no idea how people can do thisfor months and years at a time. Week three I am beginning to see how people can stay and why so many return and come more than once. It gets in your system! I can honestly say I love the international community on the ship, the style of missions that it is and the unique culture of Liberia and its beautiful people. I also realize that my sentimental feelings could also be because I am leaving in less than a week. I even looked into staying an extra week but when I found out that would mean repurchasing the most expensive airline ticket of my life, decided I should stick to the original plan! I know even if I had another week I would still be sad to leave though. So I guess I will just have to come back some day!! I will write more later in the week!
First of all, I added some more pictures to my shutterfly album so feel free to take a look! This past weekend was definitley worth mentioning. I enjoy being on the ship, but it is really nice to get away and explore! On Saturday a group of us went to the Bong Mines which used to produce iron ore but has not functioned since the start of the civil war. It was a little eerie to see everything just sitting there all covered with overgrown plants. My favorite part was the trip there and back! We loaded the Land Rovers onto the flatbed of the train then sat on top of the cars for the two hour trip. It was through beautiful, green African jungle and so different from Monrovia. All along the way the kids would rush out of their houses screaming hello and waving frantically with huge smiles on their faces. It was so cute! Their houses were another example of how I pictured west Africa to be, with their thatched roofs all grouped together in the middle of the forest. On Sunday I spent literally all day at two different churches with the two ladies that I clean with. It was fun to see them off the ship and participate in the services. I have now learned to sing as loud as I can, say amen and hallelujah at the right times and dance my way up to the front to give my money offering. Its a little different than the way I am used to doing church, lets just leave it at that.
I cant believe it is already half way through my time here, the weeks are going by quickly! I would appreciate your prayers that I would not miss out on opportunities that are here and that I would be aware of what God is teaching me through this experience. My prayer has been that I would not leave here the same person that I came. I do not know what that will look like, but am eager to find out.