My summer was busy. Actually, busy is a bit of an understatement. In my six weeks away from Puerto, I spent time in four US states and all four time zones. Most of the time, I felt overwhelmed. Beyond anything I could manage or accomplish on my own. Through it all, God remained steadfast and faithful. He even graciously gave me quiet moments of solitude and rest in coffee shops, restaurants, and rooms where I was able to step away and experience peace amidst my chaotic schedule. Despite the busyness of my travels, once I arrived, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. Right, where God wanted me. I felt at home.

Now I consider myself to be a bit of a wanderer, so home is an interesting construct. I have lived quite a few places and visited even more throughout my life. As a result, I have many homes and none simultaneously. I feel at home and like a foreigner all at the same time, no matter where I am physically located. This may have been how many people in the Bible felt…

These people all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)

Three of the four places I visited I consider home – surrounded by people I love; my friends and family. I was excited to be there and to see everyone. It was not the place that made it home, but the people. I was filled with mixed emotions each time I left one place for the next; often leaving before I was ready to go.

Surprisingly, I felt this same peace and excitement to be home when I landed in Puerto. The journey back was longer and more trying than anticipated but knowing I was back, I was filled with unexpected contentment. I am right where God wants me; in the center of His will. I am home. My home is not on this earth, but with God. If I remain in obedience to Him, I will get a semblance of home regardless of where I find myself. I long for the day I find myself truly home, face-to-face with the Lord. Until then, I will continue to seek His will in obedience.

The result of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness
will be quiet confidence forever.
Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place,
in safe and secure dwellings. (Isaiah 32:17-18)

-Angela Fontanelli, GEM Missionary

If you’d like to support Angela as she serves with GEM in Mexico, you can do so HERE. You can also contact her directly to talk further about what it means to be on her support team and find out how you can be praying for her!

The Walking In Between

Sometimes the most captivating parts of a story are not the mountaintops. Not the end results. Not the final product. But, simply, as Ben Rector so eloquently states it, “the walking in between.”

Right now God has given me a mountaintop. To do what I love, teach in a school filled with God’s love, in a land filled with stunning beaches and majestic mountains. I have been blessed. And not that every moment is easy or bursting with laughter, but He shows me His goodness so evidently even in the hard times.

Today I want to share a story, for words in the form of stories have always left me feeling a little more inspired. A little more ready to conquer the world for Christ. This story is not about a special moment with one of the students or watching a parent come to faith. It is merely how God can use a place of confusion and unrest to show His children the most wonderful plan of all. His.

Growing up in a Christian home and attending Christian school since the 5th grade, meant that the idea of missions was not a crazy concept. Family members were missionaries in Japan and Spain, and the real life visual of sacrificing your life for Christ was something that I strived to achieve. But, there was always a part of me that yearned for the comfortable, for the white picket fence kind of life. And now I truly realize that it’s a marvelous thing that God knows us better than we know ourselves.

Let’s go back to March 24, 2015. In my planner, for every type A teacher has one, there was a U.S. History test due online, and Jury Duty written in big bold letters. Having read every John Grisham novel, I was excited for the prospect of being involved in a thrilling courtroom experience. Listed a little below my excited bolded print was…Teacher Recruitment Fair. A required event for all seniors in the education program. God had blessed me with an amazing host teacher (thank you, Mrs. Smith if you are reading this!), and I had put all my hopes into securing a position at that elementary school. My true thoughts about the job fair…I didn’t need those awkward conversations! Obviously, God had other plans.

Short story even shorter, that morning I called the Jury Duty number, and as you can now guess, my presence was not required. A quick change from semi-professional attire to “I want to teach at your school” attire, and my best friend and I were ready to hand out some resumes. Fast forward two hours and many (actually very exciting) conversations later, we were on our way out the door. Ten feet from fresh air and lunch waiting for us at Panera Bread, an enthusiastic voice penetrated my thoughts, “Have you ever thought about teaching overseas?!” Seven simple words that changed my life.

I like to think that if I had never paused to hear about Global Education Ministries at that teacher fair, or if my jury duty hadn’t been canceled that morning, God still would have directed my path to Mexico.

Because He has a plan. A plan that is greater than we can ever ask for or imagine. A plan that may involve killing tarantulas in your bathroom, or getting in the wrong taxi and having to walk an embarrassing extra 15 minutes home. But it also involves getting sweaty hugs goodbye after a school day, and loving people you never would have had the privilege to meet.

So, the “walking in between.” Those days that seem mindless and discouraging. When you are waiting for the mountaintop and the start of an incredible adventure, remember, the first step of an adventure is often times the most important. It requires determination, patience, and an excitement for the unknown. The first step requires the adventurer to say, “Here I am, send me.”

Sarah Quigg graduated from Liberty University in 2015 with a B.S. in Special Education. She loves running and growing closer to God while exploring His creation! We are so happy to have her on the team, teaching 5th grade.