You made it! Or you will soon. You are probably feeling all of the feelings. So happy. So exhausted from all of the goodbyes. So nervous. So excited. So overwhelmed.
Being here—on the field—may be the culmination of a lifelong dream and call. Or it might be an unexpected life twist from God. Either way, welcome!
Many steps of this process you knew you would have to face.
Shutting down a life takes time, doesn’t it? All of the sorting, selling, storing, and packing all of your worldly possessions. All of the goodbyes and tears. All of the anticipation.
You’ve done the best you could. You’ve raised money. You’ve created ways to communicate with fellowships, friends, and family. You’ve learned about your host culture, maybe even attended training and orientation. You are open to what God has for you and hopeful about seeing Him at work in the world.
You are ready.
You have done what you could with the Lord’s help and an army of love going before, beside, and behind you.
But there is one piece you couldn’t prepare for. One aspect of this life overseas that you might not know you need.
A place to feel normal. A place to feel understood. A place where you don’t have to explain because others get it.
You might not know yet that you need Velvet Ashes, and that’s okay. If you look on our “Meet the Team” page, you will find a sisterhood of people who also didn’t know they needed Velvet Ashes until they did.
Until the Lord’s work in the world was far more and way less than we had bargained for. Unlike the biographies many of us have read, daily life on the field takes so much more time than anticipated. In many places, staying fed and in (decently) clean clothes can take so much more time than it did back home. You will get to the end of a day and wonder what you did. And then you can get to the end of a week and wonder what you did. And then you can get to the end of a month and think, “What can I share in a newsletter?”
But there will also be moments when you have to pinch yourself because you have a front row seat to God’s work in the world. You will have conversations that actually put a spring in your step. You will minister to someone in a way you never anticipated and think, “That, that right there is the culmination of my entire life.” And experience a satisfaction so deep you didn’t know such depths existed.
You will see yourself in a new light. Who knew you could do that or go there or help them. But you do and you begin to change. Often in ways you like, sometimes in ways that confuse you, and at times in ways that deeply sadden you.
Your friends and family will always, always, always hold a dear place in your heart. But it turns out they are not enough.
And that is why Velvet Ashes exists. Simply put, we need each other. You need a place to share your stories and hear stories from others. Even though you love Jesus with all of your being, the day will come when you need to be reminded of his goodness. We do that for each other. Maybe your story will involve heartache, disappointment, or loss. We are here to share those with you. You also need a place to share in the joys of visas coming through, cereal you’ve been missing, ministry joys, and long anticipated visits from home.
You can find your people in
—daily blog posts (sign up here)
—the Instagram Community
—the Community Map
—Connection Groups that meet in the spring and fall (registration opens September 11th)
—the Moms of Velvet Ashes Facebook Group
—the Virtual Retreat held in April and designed just for you
—Prayer support, gorgeous images that feed your soul, the discussion in the comments, friendships that start off virtual and become in person, all that and more.
The posts this week will explain how you can participate in Velvet Ashes. For today, sign up to receive the posts in your inbox. You have two choices: you can receive the posts daily or in a weekly digest on the weekend. (Also, you can always change from daily to the digest depending on how a month looks for you).
We are excited you are here!
Have you signed up yet? Sign up here.