I sent this letter to my church this morning to be read by my sister during worship, as she does with all my updates. It got me thinking, though, that I have so many people to thank. To all of you who've been there this year, I love you! This letter is for you too...(more personal notes to come, as soon as I get done with all the airplanes!)
Good morning! I am writing to you this morning from the sunny beaches of Pensacola, Florida. I am here on my volunteer group’s closing retreat. We’ve enjoyed a weekend full of worship, fellowship, fun and sun. It is really just the first step, however, in processing the closing of our year of service. The next few days will be very busy for each of us, and me in particular. I suppose that is where I should start today: with the big news!
When my program ends on Aug. 15th I won’t be packing my car and hitting the long road back to Maryland. That trip will now be delayed as I have accepted a call to stay on the coast and serve our great church for another year. Actually, I am leaving Florida this afternoon to head out to Louisville, Kentucky to attend orientation at the PC(USA) headquarters. I will start my new position as Case Management Liaison with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance on August 16th. I am overwhelmingly thrilled about this new opportunity to continue doing work I love with people I love and be able to contribute God’s Gulf Coast recovery plan.
But before I get too far ahead, let me first back up… The only way I could even consider signing on for another year in Mississippi was because of the incredible support and love you shared with me that made my first year here so great. I’ll never be able to thank each of you properly for all that your words, thoughts, prayers, financial contributions, packages, notes, emails, and visits meant to me. I’ve always found it so easy to give. One of the many lessons that you and the great people of the Gulf Coast taught me this year is how to receive. I’ve never been comfortable receiving prayers, donations, or well wishes, but this year I really needed that care and it felt wonderful to accept your love and generosity. It is because of that love and generosity that I have the energy, heart, and strength to continue on in service here, knowing that you will lift me up so that I may lift up others, and God will carry us all. It’s amazing! Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving the coast.
As I turn to the next steps- orientation in Louisville, one day back at the apartment to pack, a closing retreat with all of the PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteers in New Mexico, moving, saying goodbye to friends and homeowners, and starting the new job- please keep me and my fellow Gulf Coast Mission volunteers in your prayers. And look for many more updates to come from a displaced Dickeyvillian who’s missing you dearly….
All my love,