28 November 2007

can news be a christmas present?

It is almost December. Which means…

Christmas is fast approaching. We found ourselves in a mall here the other day and we were confronted by glistening Christmas trees, strings of holly, and old-fashioned American Christmas music. It was a truly bizarre experience to say the least. The weather is warming up (although today is windy in the 50s), summer is creeping in, and nothing that usually cues our brains to think about Christmas is kicking in.

One thing we know for sure is that we cannot change all of this. Christmas is coming regardless of whether we can sense it.

Today, as part of our early Christmas present to you, we’d like to share some news with you, our family and friends.

We will be returning home in March.

(Take a minute. Read it again.)

On March 6th, we will board a plane that will take us to Abu Dhabi and then on to New York. We will then spend a few days in New York with some of our favorite people before finally touching down in the land of fajitas and bean & cheese tacos. (My mouth is literally watering uncontrollably. I’m almost embarrassed. Now you know why we don’t write of “what we miss” too often.)

The journey to the decision to come home was difficult.

We arrived here with a one-way ticket and intentions to stay as long as we felt we needed to – even if that meant forever.

Somehow, though, the permanence never set in. Stef felt like maybe she knew that within the first couple of months. I quietly knew it within the first couple of weeks.

It is not something that is easily explained, this feeling we had. But it was another bit of Truth that we could not deny. A lot of prayer and many long nights left us with the only choice we felt we could make. And that was to return to the people we knew and the place where we imagined that our lives might make the greatest impact.

We are already facing the bittersweet reality that lies in front of us. Every day we spend here makes it harder to imagine that we will leave. The people have stolen our hearts, Stef and I have bonded in new and unspeakable ways, and the work here will never ever be finished.

Still, we feel confident in where we are headed. More so, we are expectant of God’s incredible next chapter in our lives. To woo us from this place, it must be something amazing.

So, Merry Christmas. Please continue to pray for us and email us and generally support us through what is going to be a very strange (and likely lonely) holiday season.

We cannot wait to see you (maybe over some fajitas?) and thank you in person for the way that you have carried us through this journey.

darkness into light. wherever we are.


  1. hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!! =) only um.. 104 more days!! (yes i counted! ha) i love you bunches! oh and im trying to call you and it wont go through? so if you have 30 missed calls its probably me!

  2. I will keep praying for you both. I know the decision to leave is a difficult one. I understand how you are feeling in more ways than others will ever know. I understand. I love you two and selfishly can't wait to see you again here in SA. Shannon

  3. hey guys, this is justin. i just wanted to say that i still read your page regularly and pray for you guys constantly. i love you both so much and wish i could be there with you and help right along side. i do hope you come back and i pray we fill ourselves with the best of the messiest tacos. i am excited to hear you will be coming back sooner than much later but hope you will stay for my journey over there coming in march so that i may be able to say i saw you there :). i know selfish right. well, if you gget this and can write back my email is jnewton@gmail.com. hope to hear from you or see you soon. happy holidays. -Justin

  4. I love how you both are in tune with Christ's plan for your life's journey. I know it was a difficult decision, but selfishly I'm excited to have a chance to hug both your necks on a regular basis again. Until then, God's speed.

  5. Okay, I'm not going to lie-I'm selfishly excited that you're returning home earlier than expected. I'm only so sorry that it will be as difficult to leave South Africa, and your new friends, and your work to come home as it was to leave all of us to go there.

    We can't wait to see you! We'll be a family of FOUR when you return! :)