October 12, 2021
Wow, it has been a wild journey, but I can finally say, IT IS HAPPENING!!
Many of you already know of the exciting things God has been doing in my life and where He has called me, but I haven't gotten to publicly share with everyone yet & now I finally can!! Next year, in 2022, God has called me and Hannah to be full-time missionaries.
I don't even know where to start in sharing all the crazy cool things God has done and shown me over the last several months. For me, it all started at the beginning of the year. I felt a stirring in my heart, but couldn't quite figure out what to do with it. I wasn't happy in my job and I knew I was meant to work in an area where I felt more passion, I just didn't know how to get there.
Flashback to 6 years ago, before I moved to Florida, I remember having a conversation with my brother over brunch one morning. He asked me, "If you could do anything, have any career, and money wasn't an issue, what would you do?" My response was "I don't know, something with traveling and with kids." At that point in my life, I wasn't even fully living a life committed to God or truly know what that even meant. But at the beginning of this year, when I felt little to no passion in what I was doing, I kept being reminded of this conversation.
After having many more late night talks and prayer time with close friends and family, I knew without a doubt, this wasn't just some outlandish dream that I thought of 6 years ago. This was a calling that God had placed on my life. Over the last 5 or 6 years, I have gone on several mission trips to Haiti and Africa, and every time I go, I feel closer and closer to God. Every time I go, I come back wanting more. Wishing I didn't have to leave. Each time, the response from those who know me best is "Wow, Ashley. I can see your true passion for this through your smile in your pictures." And they are right. When I am in other countries, loving and serving God's children, THAT is where I feel the most passionate about what I am doing.
Over the last 7 or 8 months, Hannah and I have been planning and preparing for just what that will look like. At first, we were going to spend an entire year in Haiti at Fish Co's orphanages and sewing school. Plans changed. Then, we were going to spend 3 months in 4 different countries throughout the year. Again, plans changed.
Y'all, I could sit here for hours and tell you time after time how we planned out our entire year, only for things to change and plans to be shifted. I'm not going to lie, we felt defeat. We felt frustration. We felt hurt. But each time the plans changed, we felt more and more assured that we were on the right path. We let go of our control, and let God take over the plans. That's when things got really good! We opened our hearts and let go of our grip on control and planning (& if you don't know Hannah and me, we are BOTH planners-it wasn't easy letting go) and God showed up. He started revealing one step at a time where we needed to focus our attention and planning and friends, let me tell you, it has been the COOLEST thing watching God show up in every single detail.
We are now a short 3 months from leaving and God has prepared a way for us. Our first 5 months will be in Haiti. God has made provisions for a truck for us while we are there. We are set up at a super cute Air BnB, just down the road from one of our orphanages, where we have made incredible connections with other missionaries. The orphanage is currently in the process of building new living quarters for Makencia and the 35 children. Hannah and I will get to help move them in and get settled. We will get to provide Makencia with daily assistance with getting the children ready for school and helping with daily tasks. God has built an amazing community for us on the grounds in Haiti full of like-minded people who are ready to support us and help us in our journey. And God has flooded us with love and support in our journey here over the last several months.
We are forever grateful and indebted to everyone who has helped us along the way and who will no doubt continue to pray and support us along the way. I simply cannot wait to continue to share this journey with you all and tell you about all the amazing things God is doing in us and through us! Love you all & can't wait to share more along the way!
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