I often think that God has a sense of humour! As a child I was quite shy and even managed to avoid school trips as I didn't want to spend time away from home. I really wanted to study languages ... but the thought of spending a year of my course living in another country and culture, speaking another language was just too much! At Uni I grew in confidence but when I told my mum I was planning to spend a month in Tanzania, East Africa after my second year of study, working with street children and on a building project she was still a little surprised!
That trip in 1997 totally changed my focus and my vision ... I was challenged by God that if I was going to do this 'Christianity thing' there was no point unless I gave it 100% ... it was all or nothing ... I chose ALL and have never looked back! It also opened my eyes to the possibility of full-time mission work and resulted in another 2 short term trips in Kenya and through contacts I made on that first adventure, a role teaching for two years back in Tanzania (1999-2001). Now all I want to do is live within and embrace new cultures and languages!
Halfway through my time in Tanzania, in the summer of 2000, I experienced one of the most amazing moments of my life ... after 4 days trekking, I was standing at the top of Kilimanjaro ... the highest point in the whole of Africa!
I'd like to say it was memorable and etched into my mind for all time ... but honestly I've never felt so exhausted in my whole life and all I really wanted to do is get back down the mountain and sleep for a week!!! Given that only 1 in 10 people who climb Kilimanjaro make it to the crater rim, let alone the summit ... it's something I'm really proud of. Sadly it all happened before camera's went digital and the one I had stopped working because it was freezing cold before I got to the top. Thankfully one of my climbing companions did capture the moment for me!!
Over a decade later with some more study under my belt both in missions and teaching English I find myself as a missionary with MAF UK (Mission Aviation Fellowship UK), living in small town America while my husband who is an Aircraft Design Engineer is two thirds through more training at MMS Aviation (Missionary Maintenance Services) ... not quite what you envisage for your life when you attend career workshops at school ... but way more exciting than I could ever have imagined!
We also have a family blog www.beckwithsbigadventure.blogspot.com which chronicles our adventures together.