Thursday, September 19, 2013

Starting over...


Dear Friends and Family,

As I look at my last posting on January 2011, its been more than a year since my last posting. OMG, I apologize again as life just got ahold of me and Jean-Paul. We have had quite a time trying to get settled in America. We are finally here in Austin, Texas after spending almost a year in Los Angeles, CA struggling. We came to America October 2010 with only what we earned from selling EVERYTHING we owned in Rwanda, which wasn't alot. God really blessed us with enough to get JP's visa and our airplane tickets and a bit more to start off in an apartment.

It's been a mix of emotions returning to America. I was so happy to be back in the comforts of family and familiarity (however, my family still remained far), not to mention some American luxuries that we take for granted. However, one thing that I could not prepare for is that time has moved on, America has progressed, people have gone on with their lives while I was living in a less developed country. In order to survive in Rwanda, I (a master multi-tasker) had to teach myself to slow down and adjust to the less urgent pace of Africa. Returning to America, I've had to speed back up. I also lost some value in the job market as I was a volunteer humanitarian worker for 4 years. Coming back into the job market has been tough. Some people can value the time I've spent in Rwanda, but others cannot. I was a teacher and a marketing communications professional before I left for Rwanda. In those years, America leaped into an age obsessed with social networking (which is also invading Africa today). During my time in Rwanda, I used social networking to keep in touch with people, but the internet was so slow and I didn't have TV to keep me up on the latest industry norms.

Another challenge that I faced as a returning missionary was that I returned to another city and no longer had my church family support because apparently the mission ended as I crossed the international borders. In an instant I had to switch modes and go from  a daily life with mission purpose - focused on bringing Christ and compassion to anyone around me, to a lost world of unemployment and struggling finances. Then, I had a new husband, who is also new to America, that I had to assist in getting adjusted to all the changes.

So, to make a long story short, its been a whirlwind year for us...almost 2 years back now.

However, we did successfully reach two anniversaries of marriage. We stood the newlywed test and are still madly and passionately in love and blessed. Don't get me wrong, its not perfect and we have our challenges, but its perfectly made and blessed by God. The love of God and the love we have for each other is truly the glue that keeps everything together for us. Marriage is alot of work, but a work of God. We praise the Lord for giving us strength and love. Many people have asked us about whether we have a baby yet. We have been working on it. Life in America is not easy. Financial strains and managing daily life is stressful on our physical, practical and spiritual existence. But we can and will do all things through Christ Jesus. We trust that God will bring things together and our family will be born from the grace of God. We want to make sure that when we bring a child into this world, that we are prepared to give the child the best of life. So, the answer to that question is that we and God are working on our future family. All prayers are welcome.

As I take on whatever jobs come my way to support us, I long for the wonderful days filled with purpose. I long for the days of being the vessel that God uses to bring hope and joy to the people of Africa. I long for days of sitting in my living room and sharing God's miracles with young people. We will return one day, strong and fully stocked with resources to change lives for Christ.

Life is short.Cherish the days you have. Whether you past was filled with joys or sorrows, they are days gone by. Look ahead at the things God has in mind for you.There are treasures stored up in Heaven and Earth waiting for you to surrender your path so that God can lead you towards the true path to retrieve your  blessings. I thank you for reading my blogs for all these years. I will soon be putting up a new blog to start the new chapters of my journey with God. Please keep me in your prayers to seek God first and foremost. I have left the third world country for now, but my mission has not ended. In God's eyes, I am still a missionary, on special mission, on a new season, in a new place, fighting for the cause of Christ - that all may seek His face and rejoice. I pray for you all to find the joy of the Lord in your lives and to keep a tight grip on it.

With love and blessings to all,
Linda (Huang) Bigirindavyi