At the end of November, we walked down the gangway of the Africa Mercy. It was the second time for Josh to “leave,” but the first for me. I’d left before to go home for Christmas, for training, to get married. I’d left knowing I wouldn’t be back to the same dock, but would return to the same ship. But this was the first time I walked down the gangway not knowing if I’d walk up it again.
It was the end of a hard, stretching, fulfilling, beautiful 2-year season. It’s amazing what can happen in two short years; I feel I’ve only begun to process it all.
After years in the field and a particularly challenging fall, we decided to take two months to recover and rest before deciding what to pursue next. We started with a couple-day layover in Amsterdam before traveling on to Tennessee.
We spent three weeks in California catching up with the Callows. Highlights included a low-key Christmas, the second annual Star Wars family viewing (Rogue One in IMAX), plenty of Callie cuddles, multiple trips to the Bay Area for Mercy Ships and family reunions, and our favorite–a just-the-two-of-us trip to an Irish pub-style inn near Muir Woods.
For January, we headed back to the Keegan’s in Tennessee, where our days were full of nephew cuddles, bedtime stories, fire-building lessons, and sewing projects. Our highlight was meeting our newest nephew, Noah, born two weeks after we left for Benin.
We spent much of the two months in limbo, with ideas of what was coming next, but no concrete plans. Of course, God’s timing is better than ours, and while we were resting, He was working. The last week of January, we got our marching orders. The first week of February, we boarded a plane.