Sunday, January 16, 2011

Change of Venue

I woke up today to an email on my phone from Aegean Airlines notifying me that I can now check in for my flight...the one I am supposed to board tomorrow morning. Houston-->Chicago-->London-->Thessaloniki. I decided this was my cue, that it was necessary to sit and carve out some time to write, reflect, and document what God has done and is doing in my life since my arrival in the good ole' U.S.A. For starters...I am not flying anywhere tomorrow - and I'm thrilled about that. I do have a day off from the full time job I started here in Houston and plan on spending a chunk of it with the incredible guy I am dating...see, just minor [life-changing] events since the last time I wrote on here *grin*. Stick with me, I will attempt to explain...

So about 10 days before I left Australia I had an appointment with the Greek consulate in Sydney to secure my visa. Due to the unique nature of my internship arrangements with A21, I did not qualify for any of the available visas. Let's just say the Greek government officials weren't keen to acknowledge a problem such as sex trafficking taking place in their country, and out of this offense accused me of attempting to slip into Greece under some kind of humanitarian aid cover to really have a 6 month post-grad holiday. I walked out of that building knowing that a door which had appeared wide open had been SLAMMED shut. All plans, plane tickets that had been purchased, expectations - gone. Cue one of Kate's completely unbecoming meltdowns - but it never happened. It was so unlike me to remain calm when plans that I believe are solidified go off track. Ask Paul, it's UGLY. Amazing what the Holy Spirit in us can accomplish...His perfect peace was overwhelming. That my friends is nothing that can be willed or mustered up by the human flesh, it was a gift - one that was gladly accepted.

So back at square one...with the degree that I had set out to obtain initially. No leads, no plans, and for the first time in a long time - if ever - I really let myself dream. Once I could set aside my practical self in order to do this it did not take but a minute to identify where my heart was. It was as if I finally saw the picture that God had been painting all around me, piecing together the bits and pieces of my past experiences to bring me here. I was finally able, and willing, to recognize desires I never even knew where there, or maybe even suppressed to a certain extent. Less than a week after arriving home I had a job interview and offer from Catholic Charities. I am now working in the refugee department with the program that provides assistance to unaccompanied minors. Basically my job is to assist children that have been smuggled/trafficked into the States to be reunified with their families. I still can't believe it is even a job description, let alone MY job description, it just fits...

I have been home about 7 weeks now. Some days it feels like I have been home for 7 hours and others it feels more like 7 years. The transition home was harder than I had anticipated. Again, God was so gracious, days after I got home Paul arrived and we were able to spend so much time together. If there is anyone that understands transitioning between lives on different continents it is him, and he just so happens to be one of my favorite people to do nothing or anything with. Being together as a family of four for almost a full month was an invaluable Christmas present. So I did mention another person that has stepped into this precious inner circle of people in my life in such a casual and unexpected manner. I have yet to find adequate adjectives to describe him, or us, or how it even happened. Words fall short, but this gift of companionship is one that is nothing short of an absolute blessing. He adds a beautiful accent to the good that was already present in my life. Mom+Dad introduced us the day after I got home and I am so glad they did. I have reaped the benefits of all of the attractive characteristics that Mom+Dad+Paul acknowledged in him long before I came home and we even met. I'm so grateful...

A new season has begun. So many changes, but He is the same, and that my friends is more than enough.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Where from here...

I've heard about human trafficking for a while now, I would venture out there and say that we all have at some point. In some ways I feel like its become a popular topic of conversation among certain crowds. Not saying by any means that is a bad thing. Maybe more time should be spent talking about issues surrounding the presence of injustice in the world rather than how much we "need" a holiday to escape from the mundane nature of our day to day existence, how much we "love" the current hit tv series, or how life would just be complete if we could lose 5-10 pounds and actually look skinny in our skinny jeans. I digress.

I have known now for months, that school (insert mocking by Aussie/U.K friends, if I call it uni I get it from home, its a lose/lose battle) was over in October and if all went as planned I would have another degree, one that I believed would better equip me to go out and DO something about this injustice. One that would help bring some legitimacy to another twenty-something that actually believes they may have the capacity to have an impact on something much bigger than themself, and convince some NGO or non-profit to take a risk and let me join their team. But I had zero clue as to what that would look like or how it could potentially play out. Zero. Nada. Zip. Couldn't even fake it if I wanted to (and at some points I desperately wanted to).

Somewhere along the line, I was introduced to this

And it shook me. I wanted to do something. I wasn't even sure if there was anything I could do, or offer. But I wanted to find out. The opportunity was presented, and I took it...

So...I'm moving. To Greece. On January 17th.

I'm so excited/nervous/anxious/happy/honored to get there and serve those women. I am going to be setting up a transition program which will provide support as they reintegrate into society.

In the midst of the journey over the past few months that has led me to this point. God really used the following verse to guide me to what I believe is the next step.

'For you were called to freedom brothers, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love - serve one another' Galatians 5:13

This freedom which I have been given which was purchased for me, is not given to me that I can wake up each day and drag chains around. It was not given to me so that I can squander it away, spending the days I'm given in pursuit of what the world claims will fulfill or complete me. It is entrusted to me, so that I can serve and love others. As I walk with these women as they are experiencing their new found freedom from modern day slavery, I really desire to learn more about what my personal freedom in Christ looks like as well.

Pray for them? Pray for me? Pray for us?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I am alive, and well, very well actually...and a little bit older than the last time I wrote. Well definitely not the last time I wrote, I do a fair amount of writing these days actually, just not on the blog, unfortunately. I turned 27 this weekend, and at some point during last week I decided that I wanted to make a list of 27 things I am grateful for in my life. The weekend was so packed with goodness that I have yet to get around to it, so without boring you with a list, just let me tell you that I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that there were multiple times both Saturday & Sunday my eyes welled up with tears and I had to choke them down so I wouldn't scare my friends. :-)

So I am about 7 weeks into a 12 week semester, my 2nd and final semester of grad school. That is just CRAZY. Crazy because it has gone so fast, crazy because that means I get to work again soon (which I am VERY excited about), crazy because that makes me want to FREEZE time because I absolutely love my life here, crazy because I have about 5 HUGE assignments that are due between now and then...need I continue? Crazy. My final assignment is due October 21st, and the million dollar question seems to be what I am doing next, to which I don't have an answer...not quite yet. I honestly don't have the time or head space to look for jobs right now. I have really wanted to spend this semester just enjoying my time here, and soaking up every moment, and I am happy to report that I have been able to do just that without wasting it away worrying what is next. I can tell you that the idea of working and using my degree makes me very excited, I have enjoyed this season as a student but really enjoy working as well so I'm excited to get back out there. That being said, I am not in any hurry to leave Australia, and I don't want to jump into a job just for the sake of having one.

Tomorrow, September 1st marks the 1st day of spring here in Sydney. My fourth season to experience in Australia. September and October are going to be pretty packed for me. If you think of it I would appreciate any prayers on my behalf. I could use a little extra dose of diligence and motivation heading into the final stretch.