Hi all! I am sorry for the lack of communication for almost two months. It has been a hard several weeks. Before I go into why it's been hard and what has been going on, I wanted to update you all on my decision about whether or not I will come back here in the fall or not. After much prayer and consultation I felt like the Father is telling me that He is not finished with me here yet. I do want to thank you all for your prayers. I really believe that your prayers have helped me make the right choice and follow the Father in deciding to stay here for another school year. To be honest, it was not the decision that I wanted to make. I wanted to come home and do something different, but every time I prayed I felt Him telling me that I needed to stay and wait. If you know me, waiting is not one of my strong suits...but I know that He has me here for a season and a reason. When I told the family about my decision they were really excited and so was I. It was good to finally decide and know again that I am in the Father's will.
My plan is to come home in the beginning of June and stay there for a couple of months before coming back here in August. My goals for coming home will be to see family and friends, as well as raise more funds to be here for another year. To come back here I need some one time donations as well as more monthly supporters. I know it seems like little amounts don't really help be they do! If I can get just 50 people who would give $20 a month for the next year I would be almost fully funded! I also need some one time gifts to help me get back out in the fall and cover my visa, but the monthly donations would cover everything else! It would be awesome to have you partner with me for another year, and see what God has planned! If you would like to go ahead and commit to that you can go here https://nldeaf.com/catherine-donations and start your monthly donations, and of course all gifts are tax deductible!
Also, if you have a small group, sunday school class, or gathering that I can come talk with about what the Father is doing here, I would love to schedule that with you. Please let me know :-)
So, after I decided to stay here for another year, about a week later, I was hit with a HUGE amount of spiritual attacks. All of a sudden I hated being here...I wanted to run away and NEVER come back. I wanted to have nothing to do with this place. I was mad that the Father put me here..."Why did He have to take me away from my family?" "Why did I have to come to such an ugly place?" "Why did I have to leave my friends?". On top of these thoughts I felt very useless, like what I'm doing here is not enough. So many thoughts and feelings that were negative, many lies from the enemy. All of this after I had just said that I would come back for another year! Was I wrong? Did I misunderstand what the Father wanted? More lies. After about a week of just feeling frustrated and wanting to leave, I had several instances where the Father reconfirmed I'm where I should be. First: I FINALLY met some Deaf people on the bus!! I live in an area of the city where there is not a large Deaf population, and I had never seen a Deaf person out in real life. One day I decided that I needed to get out of the house since I had been at home a lot, so I made myself get my things together and go out to a coffee shop. When I got on the bus I noticed a couple of people briefly sign. It was out of the corner of my eye, so at first I wasn't sure. I watched and they signed again! They were Deaf! I was nervous, but decided to get their attention and began a conversation with them. I actually ended up getting off the bus with them and walking around a park with them for a little while. I was able to hold good conversation with them, and we actually found out we knew mutual friends! Before this I was feeling really down about my level of communication ability in the local sign language, but now I felt more confident and realized how much I had actually learned in the last four months. Second: I was able to share the Easter story with my Deaf sign language tutors! It was really cool to have the language to be able to do that, and that they were told that story for the first time! Third: I was invited over to the Deaf pastor's house to make a cake for his wife's birthday party and also invited to the party! This was also huge because I'd not been able to spend time with her yet, and it was an honor to be able to use that skill to bless them, and have time to get to know their family better! Fourth: That week I also found out that a scripture translation story set had just been released in a sign language similar to the one here. When I went to Deaf church that week I was able to share it with several people. They all were VERY excited about it, and said they would go home and watch. I was also able to share it with the pastor and he also seemed very interested in it. Fifth: That weekend I took an uber home from church and my uber driver was Deaf!! We also had conversation all the way home, and I understood most all of it! Since then I have had him a couple of other times as well! All five of these things happened in the span of a week...It was huge confirmation to me that coming back here for another year was the right decision, and that the Father is doing a work here! I have also meet several other Deaf people out and about since that week and have been able to hold my own in conversing with them! Very encouraging to me, and I'm super excited to see what the Father has planned next!