Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's the End of the [DTS] World as We Know It

11:11 AM
As I write this blog, I'm sitting alone in a bedroom in an empty house. Yup, DTS is officially over and I'm back home. I still don't think it feels real yet, but I'm sure over the next few days the reality of the goodbyes will set in and I'll desperately miss my dear friends.

This past week has been a blur. We left Tuesday morning from White River Kruger for the airport in Johannesburg. It was a 4 hour drive, and we gave ourselves almost 4 hours before our flight to check-in and shop. Or so we thought. Due to one mishap after another regarding our tickets [and poor customer service from Delta], it was only 10 minutes before boarding by the time our entire team was checked in. We were able to inhale some dinner and grab a few souvenirs before taking off on our long 17 hour flight. We left from Joburg around 8:30pm and landed in Atlanta around 5:30am on Wednesday. It was the weirdest feeling to fly for that long through the dark the entire time! But I had PLENTY of movies to keep me entertained. We got into Orlando around 10:30am and it felt so good to be back in a familiar area. We were able to go to the YWAM base and see old friends and eat lunch with the new schools. We all were dealing with some serious jetlag, but we pushed through with hopes of adjusting quickly.

On Thursday, the other two outreaches returned back to the base and we were reunited with our entire DTS class. It was so fun to hear their outreach stories and see how they've grown. We stayed out at the property Thursday night, which looks so amazing. There's been so much work done there, and its totally livable now! Which is great, because in a few weeks, I will be living out there!

Friday, we had an extensive time of reflection and debrief with our staff which really helped just solidify what God has been doing in our lives during these past 5 months. We reflected on Scripture and just processed what we're been learning. We shared with teammates our most impactful moments, both in lecture phase and an outreach. It was really a beautiful time of sharing. We then got to go out to dinner as a school and celebrate our graduation day! Our graduation "ceremony" was also out at the property, the first school to graduate out there!

It was a great ceremony. All the families came earlier for a dinner, and I was so excited to see my parents and sister! It's been so long! Each outreach shared stories and a slideshow. I almost cried again during our slideshow. We really made alot of good memories. After the ceremony, I had the impossible task of saying goodbyes to the people who had come to mean so much to me. It was really tough. When the last tearful goodbye was spoken and the last hug given, we loaded up the family car and set off for Tampa once again. The only thing keeping me together was knowing I'd be right back there in just a few weeks. My heart felt like it was being pulled in so many different directions, but I know that I'll see most of these precious friends again at some point. And I can't wait for that day!

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!