I remember getting this email two years ago today saying I'd been officially accepted by Josiah Venture. I remember telling my parents, and driving to tell the Bowmans. I spent that night with some of my closest friends in Belfast (although I can't remember the occasion) and I remember telling them.
Josiah Venture has been a part of my life for a long time now - I first travelled over as part of a team from my Saintfield church to an English camp in 2007, at the age of eighteen. I had no idea back then I'd become a full time missionary or live in the country I'd probably only learnt about because of that trip.
This morning I woke up in my little flat in the Czech Republic. I went to a couple of shops to buy a few things I needed. I prepared to lead small group in Czech. I walked around my little town. In a couple of days I mark fifteen months of living here.
Last weekend Paul Bowman, the one who introduced me to this country on that short term team, was here and got to see my life and ministry here. At one point he said "Rachael has come home here."
In that moment I knew how true those words were. Now, Northern Ireland is and will always be home. But somehow Czech is too. It's not one or the other. It's both/and.
I fully believe God has given me home here. Home in a culture I don't fully understand. Home in a language that continues to baffle me. Home in a country I met when I was eighteen.
And God has far surpassed my expectations. Eighteen year old me did not expect to call this country home. Two-years-ago me did not expect how completely God had prepared this place for me and me for this place.
He has been overwhelmingly faithful. And I'm excitedly expectant about how He will continue to be faithful and how He will continue to shatter my expectations and give good things.