I was very fortunate to be able to go home for Christmas. As a Missionary, I do not have a lot of disposable income, but in many ways, I am still privileged economically and otherwise:
Many low-income workers do not have the privilege of a [financially] supportive family, a program that covers all of their basic needs (food, shelter, transportation, and a $300/month stipend for toiletries/entertainment/donations/Christmas presents, etc.), and a job with paid personal days in addition to “unlimited” sick days and bereavement leave. Because I have all of those things, I am able to take a few days off to visit family without the stress of rent, bills, etc.
I am also grateful to my parents who made it possible for me to travel for Christmas and who provide a loving place that I can still call home.
Christmas in Ohio was cold, though perhaps not cold enough. You can read my Book of Fellows post on eating well to reduce climate change for my thoughts. (You should also read all of the Book of Fellows posts, as I am taking over as an administrator, and I would love your support. The Book of Fellows is an informal blog written by Global Mission Fellows, and I really think it is a great read!)
It was wonderful to catch up with family and friends! I had the chance to go to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Wildlights, eat great food, visit family in Pittsburgh, PA, watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 2, hike in my favorite park, and to just relax at home.
It was also nice to be back at my home church, Church of the Messiah UMC, for a few services. I would like to give a special shout-out to both Church of the Messiah UMC in Westerville, OH, and Redland Community UMC in Homestead, FL, for choosing to support young adult missions through my Advance with your Christmas Eve offerings!
I am now back in Cutler Bay, FL. My flight landed just after midnight on Monday morning, so I was pretty tired this week. Right now I mostly feel caught up on work, laundry, etc., and next week I should be back to the normal routine.
I had another fun animal-related experience yesterday. Thanks to Groupon and as a Christmas present, I was able to visit the Miami Seaquarium and do both the Dolphin Odyssey and the Sea Trek. During the Dolphin Odyssey, I got to swim with, kiss, pet, and feed dolphins. The Sea Trek involved putting on a space-like helmet and wet suit, climbing 15 feet down a ladder into a tank full of 70-degree bay water, sting rays, eels, a sea turtle, and lots of fish. It was such a fun day!
In work-related news, South Florida Justice for Our Neighbors received a generous trailer donation, and we are really excited to kick off this new ministry in 2016! More information here.
Thank you for your continued support. I’m grateful I can share this journey with you!