There are a few major reasons that I haven't really updated my blog lately.
Reason No. 1: Being in Portland has been SO much busier, and a much faster pace than life in Tanzania. Not having the same amount of rest as I do when I'm in TZ means that it's a lot harder for me to organize my thoughts and develop an idea to blog about. Also, my work load has been different, a ton more meetings, a very social work environment with volunteers and co-workers, and a lot of projects that can I can do to help others out with.
Reason No. 2: I've been learning so much about so many things at events like The Justice Conference and the Global Missions Conference at Multnomah University, as well as books, blogs, movies, and conversations with so many people. I have ideas about rest & sabbath, human slavery, living in balanced justice, food sources and health, relational ties and types, authority, respect, dignity, and loads of other things floating around in my head. I have so many pieces of so many things, and haven't really organized any of them fully, so it's hard to think of how to invite anyone else into them!
But the biggest reason I haven't been blogging is...
Reason No. 3: The biggest thing on my plate for the past four months was not something I could discuss publicly on this blog: my relationship with Fred Otieno. Fred and I met in early November, shortly before I came back to the States to see my family and friends. He works for the Mennonite church in another city, and we met at some Mennonite church meetings. He knew almost as soon as we met that God had designed our meeting, although I took a few extra days to realize that fact. We began "dating" (relational timeline terms do not mean the same things in different cultures) after the seminar ended, but because we lived in different cities in Tanzania and I left to come back to the States less than a week later, our courtship or dating or whatever you want to call it, happened over phone calls, emails, and text messages. We began making plans for Fred to come over and meet my family before I returned to Tanzania, and decided that we would get engaged when he came so that my family could be part of a formal part of our relationship developing.
Then, for several reasons, it was determined that I should stay longer in the States, and after much discussion and prayer, Fred and I decided that when he comes, instead of getting engaged, we will get married! There are so many reasons we believe that God has brought us together, in God's perfect timing and design, and we are so excited to begin our life together. Obviously this is not a conventional relationship in many ways, and in many other ways it is extremely old-fashioned and very conventional!
March 26th is the date we have set for our very small, mostly family wedding and reception. In the next few months and weeks, you'll see a transition from this blog being just my thoughts and experiences to being the thoughts and experiences of Fred and I as a married couple. As we begin this new season of life, we invite your prayers, questions, encouragement and advice. Thank you for being a part of this exciting new season of life for me/us!